“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18 (NIV)
Friday’s the day! We’ve been waiting for Christmas for months! We put our tree up about five weeks ago, excitedly hung the ornaments in just the right spot. The choirs sang their songs, celebrated the upcoming birthday of the King. The students made the crafts (the one time a year I really feel like a crafty teacher) and the ornaments, wrapped them up for mom and dad, opened their school stockings, and had the parties. The house has been cleaned, the old has been put away, leaving room for the new.
On Friday, Christmas will be here, and we will celebrate.
And then, the next day, it will be over.
Every year, I am melancholy over the end of the Christmas season. It’s something I so look forward to, but then in the busyness of the celebration, I seem to only grasp it with my fingertips before it’s gone. And then I pack it away and re-clean the house. I get tired of the new stuff and wear out the new clothes and I wish the season was still here.
But Christmas is always here. Because Christmas is actually Jesus, and I seem to forget that sometimes in my “celebrating”. And He doesn’t clutter, He doesn’t wear out, and He is not to be packed away. He doesn’t come from the store, and He isn’t fought over for His sale price.
You see, His love is free. You can have Jesus for free, and you can make this Christmas more meaningful, more lasting than any other year so far!
Here’s how and why…
Christians celebrate Christmas because it is the birthday of Jesus, who came to the earth as a sacrifice for your sins and mine. God loves us all so much, but God is holy and we are not. We all sin, which separates us from Him. So God, in all of His love and wisdom, sent His only Son, Jesus, to come and live on earth, among the sinners He loves so much. Jesus came as a man and wrapped our flesh around Him, breathed our air, ate our food, and had the same emotions and pains that we all have. And then He died for us, around thirty three years later. He died as an atonement for all of our sins. He took the sins that He knew we would commit, and He wore them on His person. He was the one and only sacrifice that we needed in order to be with God. And God sacrificed Him for us.
So what did we do to earn this sacrifice? Nothing. On our own, we could never earn grace and forgiveness for our sins, the ones that the Lord says are “like scarlet”. But through Jesus, the grace has already been given to us. All we have to do is ask for it. How do we ask for it? Well, I’ve either been a bible school participant, helper, or teacher since I was a kid, and Vacation Bible School explains it better than any other way I know: A, B, C.
Admit to God that you are a sinner. (God, I know I’ve sinned and am separated from You. Please forgive me.)
Believe that Jesus is God’s only Son. (I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He came to earth to save my from my sins.)
Confess Jesus as your Savior and Lord. (I confess that You are the One true God, my Savior, my Friend, the Lord of my life.)
And if you sincerely pray that prayer to the God who loves you, the God who sent His Son to earth to die for you, then you will be saved. Christmas won’t have to be over for you on December 26th.
He’s free, He’s here, and He’s available now. He lasts every day, not just in December. He will calm you when the pace of life gets frenzied. He will love you when you are lonely, and He will be your satisfaction and joy when the family and friends have all gone and the decorations have all been put away. He will be your Christmas every day of the year!
Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could make this Christmas whiter, more pure, than any season before? Maybe you are already a child of God, but you’ve just forgotten to celebrate Him instead of the holiday. Maybe you are a Christian who is struggling this season, and you need a fresh reminder of His love and friendship. Maybe His love is something you’ve only dreamed of receiving, but hadn’t felt worthy of asking for. Maybe, like me, you’ve put things of this earth before Him in the past, and you’re ready for Him to break it all down, wash you clean, and make you whiter than snow.
Your white Christmas does NOT have to be over after December 25th. Let Friday be the first day of your celebration! Merry Christmas!
Whiter Than Snow Public Domain, Arranged and Adapted by: Paige Givens, 2014