December 18 (John 1:29)
Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
It is the central truth of the world. Earth was visited by One not of this planet, yet this planet was of Him. In fact, Earth is not only of Him; it is His. And He did not come for sightseeing. He came to redeem and to claim. He came to take away the sin of the world.
If that is not the focus of our minds and hearts, our calendars and checkbooks, at this time of year, then we have let department stores and popular media shape our lives more than God. Incredibly, God will let that happen. The image of Jesus as a lamb has a twofold reminder for us. He is the perfect sacrifice to take away our sin, but He is also humble and gentle. He will not force the gift of His love and grace on anyone. It is free to all, but He will not make us take it.
This week leading to Christmas will be full…full of last-minute tasks to complete and things to buy, houses to clean, food to prepare, emails and texts to make travel arrangements, excitement and anticipation about being with family and friends. These are the moments to savor and with which we make the memories that form the beautiful tapestry of our lives. Yet in our thoughts, our prayers, and our conversations, we do well to remember that this baby came to die for us. We owe Him absolutely everything.
Jesus, You are my all and all. You knew me before I was born. You loved me, Your creation, enough to be born a helpless baby and to die for me. Your love has continued my whole life, in moments I could see and in times I could not. May You be honored this Christmas not by my decorations, but by my faithful obedience to You. Amen.
Copyright © 2016 by Steven R. Perkins