(Ramp it up people)
Ramp It Up People – It’s Christmas!!
Years ago, my husband was asked to conduct an afternoon wedding to be held at a huge outside amphitheater. It was built on the side of a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean and seated hundreds of people. Needless to say it was a gorgeous site for any event.
As time for the wedding approached, everyone involved in the ceremony began to take their places. The last of the guests had been seated, the candles were lit, the wedding party and pastor were positioned—then an amazing thing happened. A little girl, dressed like Cinderella herself, appeared at the back of the amphitheater. As she slowly began to work her way towards the front, she rang a bell and loudly declared: “The bride is coming! The bride is coming!”
The crowd stood to their feet as we all felt the excitement of the occasion begin to build. It was a wonderful way for a bride to make an entrance. And make an entrance she did: much to the delight of the guests and her husband to be!
The Christmas season is a lot like that wedding. The announcement of its coming starts early-it’s like everyone is shouting, “Christmas is coming! Christmas is coming!” By September the stores and online sites are already pushing the holiday, the “made for TV” movies are running Christmas specials and people are already out shopping for gifts and decorations.
Some think this is a bad thing-but is it? Considering whose birthday we are celebrating, I think the long introduction to the holiday is totally appropriate and warranted. It may frustrate many to see this holiday so commercialized, but I personally believe Jesus Himself would absolutely love it.
Think about this: Christmas lights shining through the dark nights-fun, joyful songs filling the stores along with all the amazing decorations; beautiful cards coming in the mail and carolers showing up to sing in malls. Plus, we have colorful decorations inside our homes along with fun Christmas parties. During this time people seem happier and more giving than at any other time of the year. What’s not to love about all that?!
The few who believe we start celebrating too early may be forgetting all the hundreds of Bible prophecies and foreshadowings that predicted the coming of Jesus. The Old Testament was completed in 450 B.C., hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus. So hundreds of years before He was born, it was predicted that Jesus would be born of a virgin, He would be born in Bethlehem, He would be called a Nazarene and be a descendant of David, He would be fully God and fully man, a Lamb without blemish, He would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver by a friend, He would die for mankind…even His resurrection was predicted. The list of fulfilled prophecies totals more than 300.
Think about it—that every single one of these more than 300 prophecies would be fulfilled by one man is not only improbable but impossible-except for the historical fact that one man did fulfill them all. And that’s why Jesus is called the greatest gift of all, and that’s why Christmas is the most amazing holiday of the year!
It’s been said that “Jesus is the light of Christmas, the joy of our hearts, and the hope of our world.” People can criticize and “dis” Christmas all they want, but the one thing they can’t do is ignore it.
So go ahead and sing your heart out, listen to Christmas carols, see Santa, eat too many sweets and put some silly reindeer antlers on your dog. Bake cookies with tons of icing, give incredibly fun gifts, decorate your Christmas tree, put up lights and be sure to attend a church service, because we’ve got good reason to celebrate!
Pastors Bob and Susan Beckett pastor The Dwelling Place City Church at 27100 Girard Street in Hemet. For more information visit them at: www.dpcitychurch.com
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