Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve 2013: God With Us

"What, then, is the God I worship?
You are the most hidden from us and yet the most present among us,
the most beautiful and yet the most strong, ever enduring;
and yet we cannot comprehend you."
~ Saint Augustine ~ 
"The Lord himself will give you the sign. Look!
The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him
Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’)."
―Isaiah 7:14, NLT

Each year as the Christmas season unfolds, I cautiously bring from our attic three large cardboard boxes which contain our mantle nativity scene. Throughout the season, those who visit our home are drawn to the beauty of these two-to-three-foot figures while the set’s primary placement upon the mantle helps us remember to keep Christ at the center of our hearts and holiday activities. Then on New Year's Day, the display is the last of the decorations I return to the attic.

As I contemplate my annual ritual, I regrettably surmise I sometimes deal with Christ in this same fashion—putting him on display for certain occasions, or during moments of hardship, and then, as soon as the occasion or situation passes, I carefully tuck him away again. How many opportunities to exhibit Christ do I miss simply because I return him to an obscure corner of my heart to await another season, another occasion, or another hardship?

Over 2000 years ago, Jesus came as the Light of the World. Today, believers carry his light. Demonstrating Christ in every aspect of our lives is vital to our relationships with God, our families, and our fellowmen. Hopefully his light, shining in us, will draw others into his presence and into a relationship with him.

Where have you positioned Christ in your life? Have you given him a place of prominence for all to see, or have you hidden him away? 

It is my prayer that the precious Christ of Christmas will remain in the most prominent position of my heart and yours, never to return to a place of obscure darkness again.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. ―Matthew 5:14-16, NIV


Happy New Year!

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