I posted this on my Facebook today:
“Every day is Christmas when you are gloriously RICH…in Jesus.” Ephesians 1:3
I like that. This truth helps me to remember that there is nothing apart from Christ that I nor any of His children lack. We lack nothing. NOTHING. We have it all. We’re the most blessed commodity in the universe as I heard a preacher once say. Even the angels lack the blessing we have in Christ. Not one of them is a recipient of redemption. Not one of them has been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Not one. We’re the only ones who have been blessed like that and the only ones who ever will. Amazing.
I like to read the local newspapers online for a headline or two each day. It helps with my floundering Spanish. Not surprisingly I don’t come across articles filled with happy and joyful themes. On a typical day, the headlines highlight one or two murders, one or more tragic auto accidents, government corruption cases, a health crisis, a gruesome new detail in the war against the drug lords, and the worst of news from the global scene thrown in just in case you didn’t grasp how awful things are in the world today. It’s a depressing way to learn some Spanish!
Two days ago I read about a murder in Querétaro. It occurred in the morning at a large “salon de fiestas” (party hall) that is well-known in that affluent city. A 33 year-old woman who served as the director for this business was found dead by a delivery person. She had been shot once in the neck. The motive was robbery.
I think what bothers me most about reading such an article is that it could have been found in the newspaper on any other day with a different person in a different place, but it would have been basically the same theme. It’s so shocking and yet it’s so commonplace. Someone who wants more money finds someone who has money, kidnaps, injures or kills that person so that they can attempt to take that money. What a rotten-to-the-core thing to do. Human nature and its bitter roots of greed, jealousy, hatred and envy is so very rotten. It destroys. It doesn’t encourage, it doesn’t give hope or joy. It doesn’t give anything good. And the spiritually blind see nothing wrong with this.
I happened to be in Querétaro yesterday for co-op and to run an errand. On my drive across the city I went right past this salon de fiestas which now in reality is a murder scene. The thought struck me at how the ideal of Christmas in the mind of the world is so different from the reality of how it plays out. There is a song that says Christmas “is the most wonderful time of the year,” and yet in reality it’s possibly the most depressing, violent and morally hollow time of the year. Human nature craves to be satisfied and will stop at nothing, even murder, in its vain pursuit. Yet outside of Christ there is no satisfaction. Ironically, it was only in His murder that the Father was satisfied. (Romans 3:25)
As that thought filtered through my pondering mind, the idea of Christmas came to me afresh:
“Christmas is where the infinite and holy love of God turned toward the absolute depravity of man and the two eventually embraced each other upon a cruel cross.”
Christmas is often said to be the season for giving. God gave man His best, most loving and most living gift. In our spiritually dead state, we returned His gift…broken, rejected, despised and murdered.
And then there was the resurrection…and the new gift of every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Talk about a great gift return policy! What glorious riches! Love, hope, peace and life now intersect in the hearts of those who believe and are forgiven. For we are saved by grace through faith in Christ…and this is God’s gift to us.
The angels proclaimed what they did not understand and what they would never receive. But we do, and in Christ, we have.