We were in the kitchen, making peanut butter fudge and wrapping Christmas presents while big band Christmas music filled the air. There was Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, and even to my brother’s chagrin, a little Michael Buble thrown in here and there. Then, almost out of the blue, a different tune filled the room. Among all of the crooners, they played a beautiful piano version of “Amazing Grace”. As I was wrapping a gift I thought, “Hmmmm….that’s not very Christmasy”. But then almost simultaneously I realized, “Actually, it’s probably the most appropriate Christmas song of all.” Because really, that is the heart and soul of the Christmas story:
Amazing Grace How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me I once was lost, but now I’m found Was blind but now I see
The truth is that beyond the beauty of the lights, the anticipation of the presents, and the warmth of family and friends, the true meaning of Christmas is that God sent His Son into the world to rescue lost and lonely sinners and to give each and every person the opportunity to have a personal relationship with Him. The true gift of Christmas is salvation. Healing. Restoration. Eternal Life. That no matter who we are, what our history, what we’ve done or haven’t done, because Jesus came to earth as a baby, lived as a man, died on the cross for our sins, and rose again, we can be forgiven. More than just forgiven, we are given the opportunity to have an intimate personal relationship with the God Who created us. As we allow Him to work in our lives, He can do more than just forgive our sins, He can heal our past, restore our lives, and make us into the men and women that He originally designed us to be. This is the “good news that was meant to bring joy to all people.” (Luke 2: 10-12). We have hope! We can experience life, and joy and peace and healing! Our lives have a purpose because of the amazing grace of God that began on Christmas morning. This is why we celebrate. Because it isn’t just a holiday—-it’s a celebration of God’s amazing grace come from Heaven to earth to give the inhabitants of earth a second chance in this life and the opportunity for eternal life. You know, the other day my brother and I were having lunch with a new friend. As we were sharing our testimonies and why we do what we do, I heard myself say, “We are well aware that our lives should not have turned out as well as they did. It was only by God’s grace.” His reply was, “You’re the second person who has used that phrase with me today.” And yet that is every Christian’s testimony: It’s all about grace. If you aren’t yet a Christian, then it’s your hope: The amazing grace of God is available to you today. It’s just a prayer away. In fact, you can pray right now with me.
Heavenly Father, I come to you today and admit that I am a sinner and that my sin is keeping me from having an intimate, personal relationship with you. I thank you that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to die on the cross and take the punishment for my sin so that our relationship could be restored. Father, today, I want to accept Jesus as my personal Savior. I want to begin having the personal relationship with You for which I was originally designed. I ask that you would not just forgive me of my sins, but walk with me through every moment of my life. Help me to understand Your love for me and to love You with all of my heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Now that you’ve prayed, you can join us all in celebrating God’s amazing grace this season. And celebrate we will! Because what better reason is there to hang lights, sing songs, laugh, feast, and rejoice in all that God’s grace has given us. That’s exactly what Jamie and I will be doing this season—-celebrating God’s grace, His love, and all that He has given us that we certainly do not deserve. And we’ll have alot of fun doing it! I hope this is also true of your Christmas season. I hope it will be filled with joy, with family and friends, with peace, and all of the beautiful things that make Christmas special as you reflect on God’s grace, God’s mercy and His presence in your life.
Have a very Merry, fun-filled, Joy-filled, Christmas!!!!