Merry Christmas from CAIS!
Christmas is fast approaching, bringing with it many different ideas to different people. To some, Christmas is just another holiday, meaning a day or two off work and opportunity to get an hour or two of extra needed sleep. For others, Christmas is their favorite time of the year.
For Christians, Christmas is a very special day, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. The origin of the holiday name comes from the combination of the words, Christ and mass. The word mass is derived from the Latin word, missa or messa, meaning, “a sending or dismissal.” In other words, the time that God planned had come, and the Son of God was sent to the earth. Today, mass is analogous to worship, portraying the meaning that Christmas is a very special holiday set aside to worship Jesus Christ, remembering the indescribable gift identified in 2 Corinthians 9:15. The grace of God to forgive the sins of all humankind was manifest through the miraculous birth of Jesus, who would later take upon Himself the sins of the world in His crucifixion on the cross of Calvary.
Through this amazing love of God, all people have the opportunity to become part of the family of God, for all who will receive the gift of salvation through Jesus. Experiencing the love of God in this way helps those who follow Christ to want to express their love for others. Christ-followers, or Christians, seriously consider the words of Jesus, summarized in Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV):
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
During this Christmas season, consider your own relationship with Jesus Christ. His love is offered as a free gift, free to all who will receive it, though it cost His life in the most humiliating way of the times, being hung on a wooden cross in the city square.
If you have not already accepted this gift of God’s forgiveness, say a prayer to God, to confess your sin, and to receive Christ’s love extended graciously to you. Come to a Christian church, and learn more about God’s love and what it means to be a Christian.
If you have accepted Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, reflect on how to live each day to honor these two commandments of Jesus, reminding us to love the Lord our God, and to love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves.
This Christmas, and each day, may the power of God help us to bring our love to God, and to all of those around us. This will help make this a very blessed Christmas!