Its almost Christmas once again and all the rush has started.  No time to sit and chat. No time to stop and think. There is just too much to do and too little time to do it in.  However, it is very, very important to stop and remember that Christmas is centred on Christ and not on all the other things that surround this season of the year.

Let me give you a few pointers to help you remember Christ this year:

C is for CHOSEN.  Jesus did not come to Bethlehem by accident.  Along with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit a wonderful plan was devised before the world even began.  This plan involved the Chosen One becoming a man just like us, except without sin (Gal 4:4; Heb 2:17; 4:15).  He was to be born at Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) in order to die on the cross (Acts 2:23). This was His destiny. This was for you.

H is for HEAVEN. The Son of God left all the glory and wonder of heaven in order to carry out God’s plan (Phil 2:6-8). The sin hating One came to a sinful world and lived amongst sinners like us because He loves us so much that He wanted to save us and make us His friends (John 3:16)

R is for REJECTED.  The loving Son of God came into our world at Bethlehem but discovered rejection and pain. Shepherds initially rushed to see him (Luke 2:15).  Wise men travelled from afar to meet Him (Matt 2:10,11).  But His place of birth was a stable because there was no room for Him in the Inn (Luke 2:7). A King tried to kill Him (Matt 2:16).  Most of the crowds who listened to Him in later life melted away and clamoured for a murderer to be set free and Christ to be crucified (Matt 27:21-23). The lovely Son of God came to the world He had created and to the people He had made, and they rejected Him (John 1:10-11).

I is for IRRESISTABLE.  There is something utterly compelling about the story of Jesus Christ.  The wonder of the Christmas story. The depth of His teaching. The power of His miracles. The poignancy of His death.  The glory of His resurrection. Surely the thing that makes this story so irresistible to men and women down through the ages is that it is infused with love (John 3:16; 1 John 4:9-10). It was love that drew salvation’s plan. It was love that sent Christ down to man.  It was love that placed Him on a cross and kept him there to pay for the sin of His people. God’s love for you is written large through the whole of the story of Jesus Christ. That is what makes it so special and that is what makes Him irresistible even to this sceptical age in which we live.

S is for Saviour. This is why He came. To save us from the guilt of our sin and the wrath of God against it.  God’s law showed us that we were rebels against Him and commandment breakers (Rom 3:23). As such we lived under the threat of His wrath and eternal condemnation (Eph 2:1-3; Rom 3:19-20). Jesus was born to save us from all this (Gal 4:4-5). He died to pay the price that God demanded to satisfy His wrath (Gal 1:3-4; Rom 3:23-26)

T is for TODAY.  Such love demands a response from you.  You need to receive the Christ of Bethlehem into your life (John 1:12). You need to repent and believe in the Saviour who died that you might be forgiven (Acts 16:30-31) and today is the day to do it (Heb 3:13).  If you already know Jesus as Saviour, may the message of Christmas fill you with fresh hope to face the rigours of this life and to live for Him with joyful, glad service today and forever more.

Happy Christmas to you all.

Brian Boyd