Monday, December 22, 2008

New Birth, New Beginnings

Luke 2:10-12 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." (NIV)

It is funny how six little words on a computer screen can have such a profound impact on a person’s state of mind. At first glance, these six little words seem innocent enough, but then when human understanding kicks in, we realize that this short sentence could potentially cause serious emotional and mental strain. Yes, just six simple little words can bring instant doom and gloom………Those words are: ”Warning: Your memory capacity is full”. When I see these words pop up and the initial shock wears off, I know that the end result is imminent ……. permanent file deletion.

Recently after seeing that message on my computer screen, I reluctantly marked those files for deletion, which I thought I could live without. Putting all fears aside, I finally pressed the delete button, and instantly began to see the titles of all my selected documents being whisked away into the eternal trash bin, never to be seen again. But as I watched each title appear on the screen for just a split second, each one conjured up a small memory deep in the back of my mind, of what I was doing the day that I created a certain document, situations I was dealing with at the time, activities I was involved with, family events, emails, and bible studies I had taught or taken.

Each title of a document signified an experience, whether big, small, important, or insignificant. As I sat there, getting a tiny glimpse of each document title before it disappeared, I began to wish that I could hit the delete button in my life sometimes. For example: Poor choices as an adolescent – DELETE. Mistakes I had made – DELETE. Damaged relationship – DELETE. Poor parenting decision – DELETE. Losing my temper – DELETE. Acts of selfishness – DELETE. Lack of patience – DELETE.

As I pondered this idea, the Holy Spirit gently spoke to my heart, and then He clearly said to me, “Tracie, my child, you do have a delete button – it’s called forgiveness”. Romans 3:25 says “God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.—“

When Jesus was born on that cold winter morning over 2000 years ago, in a stable, to a virgin, surrounded by animals and the smell of fresh hay, the ultimate delete button was birthed.

Although God sent His son for us, and was pleased with this gift to mankind, it also must have broken His heart simultaneously and became a day filled with mixed emotions. Imagine God peering down from heaven, as if He were looking through the nursery window in the hospital, seeing His tiny precious, perfect little baby boy, with ten fingers and toes, fresh pink skin, lying sweetly in the manger, and all the while, knowing that in a short 33 years, He would have to offer Him up as the ultimate sacrifice.

Even as baby Jesus lie in his makeshift crib with His little infant cries filling the night air, God knew that the crucifixion would be the deletion of this child’s human existence, so that we could have our sins forgiven - thus deleted - for eternity. What grace and mercy God has on us, that He would sacrifice His only son for the undeserving sinners of the world.

The virgin birth signifies the only gift that guarantees our forgiveness. Once we repent our sins to the Father Almighty, those sins are not only forgiven – they experience permanent deletion. Just as we could not accurately recall all the words in a document once it has been deleted, neither does God remember our sins after they are erased by His grace and forgiveness. Psalm 130:3 says “If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?” The memory capacity of Jesus will never be full, as long as we are faithful in our repentance.

As we draw closer to the holiday season, with last minute gifts to buy, holiday parties and lots of baking to do, we mustn’t forget the true meaning of Christmas.

Even strong Christians of today often get so accustomed to hearing that “Jesus is the Reason for the Season”, that it merely becomes a clichĂ©, rather than an awesome, undeniable truth. The world wants to convince us that Christmas is just a happy and fun holiday and that we should refer to Christmas as ‘the holidays” or even “Xmas” and not a day that signifies a miraculous gift from the creator of heaven and earth. But for those of us who believe in the birth of the one true savior and who have the promise of eternal life in heaven, we must continue to proclaim that Christ is Christmas and continue to share that belief with others.

As we celebrate this Christmas season, let’s most of all remember that the birth of Jesus signifies new life, as God gave us the precious gift of His son.

This new life birthed new life, and new beginnings, for believers. His resurrection after death also assures of our rebirth, and our future in heaven.

Merry Christmas.

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1 comment:

Joyful said...

So thankful for the 'Delete' button God has made available both for me and to me.

Thanks for reminding me again today that Christ cannot be separated from Christmas. He IS the reason for the season. Anyone who celebrates Christmas, celebrates Christ whether they acknowledge Him or not. Their opinion doesn't change the truth. He can be ignored and denied, but His presence isn't based on opinion or preference. He is there amidst the wrapping, parcels, tree and feasting.

Rejoicing in His birth and the new birth He has given me,
Joy