A Word of Encouragement from Elizabeth Rice Handford
What if you had never ever heard about Christmas? What if you’d never seen a Bible? What if you didn’t know the precious, familiar story that Jesus, God’s only Son, came to earth just so He could bring us to God?
Oh, you’d know, certainly, that there is a God. You’d know that just from looking at this vast, awe-inspiring created world. You’d see it was meticulously, exquisitely designed for people. Whatever His name, you’d know from His creation that God existed, and that He certainly is unimaginably powerful.
“From the time the world was created,” Romans 1:20 says, “people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God.” We can’t know everything about the Creator, just from His creation, but we do know that God Is.
Psalm 19 begins, “The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display His marvelous craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known. They speak without a sound or a word; their voice is silent in the skies; yet their message has gone out to all the earth, and their words to all the world.”
Remember poor Job, suffering only because he was a righteous man, un-comforted by his three ostensible friends? That Job says the creation of this earth is “Merely a whisper of His power.”
“He created the horizon when He separated the waters; He set the boundaries for day and night. The foundations of heaven tremble at His rebuke. . . .His Spirit made the heavens beautiful. . . These are some of the minor things He does, merely a whisper of His power. Who can understand the thunder of His power?” ()
We would be doomed if all we could know about Almighty God is what we see in the universe. But that Infinite God didn’t leave us to guess about His purpose for us. He sent us His verifiable, true Word to tell us the rest of the story: the Christmas story. It’s such a familiar story we may miss its power and glory in the common telling of it. It isn’t just a sweet story about a baby who was born in a smelly barn because the hotels were too crowded.
Christmas is God’s love letter to you and me. It is the true record of how the Almighty God sent His beloved Son Jesus into this world to rescue us from our sins. It’s the preposterous, absolutely true story that Jesus, God Himself, was willing to give up His glory to die in our place, so we could enjoy Heaven forever in His dear presence.
Let’s treasure this truth this Christmas season, no matter how pressured the days, no matter how difficult our circumstances. Christmas is not just a time for giving gifts. It is not just so we can celebrate family and friends. Christmas is our reminder of the incredible truth: God came down in a human body that first Christmas to give us eternal life with Him in Heaven.
To all who believed the Word [Jesus] and accepted Him,
He gave the right to become children of God. . . .
So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us.
He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. . . .
We have all benefitted from the rich blessings He brought to us
One gracious blessing after another. Gospel of John 1;14-18
Oh, yes! Have a wonderful, merry Christmas this year, basking in the love of God and the blessed grace of Christ’s birth!