Isaiah 9:6 tells us, For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Christmas offers so many things that bring joy to our hearts. But it is important to remember that pretty lights on houses and a lot of presents do not communicate the true reason for the season.
Before I became Christian, the trappings of Christmas seemed very important to me, especially the gifts, and the dysfunction in my family emphasized that. I think this is very common in our culture today. Isaiah 9:2 tells us: The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.
I remember the first Christmas I shared with my new Church family; it was filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit in a way that was new and marvelous. Although I still had little understanding of this at that time, it began a very positive change in me. However, when my wife and I shared our first Christmas together several years later, she was shocked at the unhealthy baggage I was still carrying from my dysfunctional family experiences. But GOD is so good. Healing and growth have occurred in my life that has allowed me to enjoy this season more each year.
My wife’s love for this season and the presence of the Holy Spirit has been the key factors in the spiritual and emotional healing I have experienced. These have helped me learn to focus on the reason for the season. May the light that shines from Bethlehem shine more fully in your life as it does in mine each year.
Merry Christmas and Shalom, Pastor Bill