A Personal Note This Holiday Season

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Well, here we are, December 2020. Any adjective used to describe this past year would be inadequate considering the multiple events that we have seen unfold before our eyes. I can still remember the first time I heard the term “coronavirus.” I clearly remember the different stages of disbelief as the impact of the virus on our lives started to reveal itself. From the Australian wildfires to the tragic death of Kobe Bryant to the impeachment hearings of President Trump. From murder hornets to the Beirut explosion to protests and riots across our great country. From the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell to the most controversial presidential election process in modern history. No matter your political or religious stance, one thing for sure is when it comes time to celebrate this Christmas, the phrase “Peace on earth goodwill towards man” is something we can all agree we need.

Many people ask how you can have peace in the crazy world that we live in? Well, for me as a Christian, it is quite simple. Now, I understand that not everyone believes the same things that I believe. However, that does not change what I believe, and if I believe those things to be true and they have been so impactful in every aspect of my life, how could I not share it with you? That said, I want to take a moment and talk a little bit about the Christmas story and why I’m so hopeful for the future.

I believe God created the world in six days (as according to the book of Genesis in the Bible). I believe that Adam and Eve sinned after being tempted by Satan and therefore brought the disease of sin and death to the human race (Genesis 3). It was at this very moment that the Christmas story was first revealed. God pronounces a curse on Satan who was in the form of a serpent at the time (Genesis 3:14-15). So, the Lord God said to the serpent…

Because you have done this,
Cursed are you above all livestock
    and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
    and you will eat dust
    all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring[a] and hers;
he will crush[b] your head,
    and you will strike his heel.

This was the first proclamation of the Messiah. The offspring of the woman is referring to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Here are a few verses from the Old Testament that also foretold of his coming.

Isaiah 9:6  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 53:3-7  He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely, he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds, we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.

Zechariah 9:9  Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Micah 5:2  But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.

These verses point to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, born of a virgin being fully God and fully man so that he could be the substitute for us on the cross. The fact that these things happened just the way they were described thousands of years earlier makes me believe that the Bible is true and accurate. That is why when I see the world in such chaos (Psalm 2) I am never fearful. Note the following verses.

Isaiah 43:1-2 But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

Psalm 34:4-6 I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. 

Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 

John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

This holiday season please reflect with me on these great promises. No matter what your beliefs are, let’s focus on showing love to one another. Let us not take for granted getting together with family and being thankful for all that God has given us. You never know when the world will change again. Be sure to make the most of today while it is still called today!