December is the month of Christmas, the annual celebration of Christ’s birth. The day we recognize as Christmas is always December 25th.
It is also the month of our Jewish friends celebrating Hanukkah. Hanukkah is a Jewish festival commemorating the recovery of Jerusalem and subsequent rededication of the Second Temple at the beginning of the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire in the 2nd century BC. It is also known as the Festival of Lights. This year the celebration begins on Sunday, November 8, and ends on the evening of December 6.
I wish to focus this Blog on the gifts of Christmas and Hanukkah. The central figure is Jesus Christ, for He, too, was a Jew.
The thought strikes me that Isaiah was correct when he wrote this passage recorded for us in his book, Isaiah 9:6: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
If ever we needed Christ’s presence among us, it is now.
Our nation and indeed our world, groans under oppressive weights of at least these:
- An unstable government in Washington, D.C., including our President’s lack of cognitive ability, mixed messages, and fluctuating “truth”
- Higher taxes
- Open borders in the USA
- Accusations, fake news, media disruption, incessant criticism, differing standards for the “elite” and what is commonly known as the “working class”
- Scarcity of supply of many essential items
- Hopelessness on many fronts
- Rising numbers on crime, including murder
- Social upheaval, division, mistrust
Where are the depths of Joy, Hope, Love, Relationships, and the Comfort of Christ’s Presence among us? Is God still available and active in these times?
The answer is a resounding “yes!” When a person accepts Christ as Savior and Lord of Life, all problems may not and likely will not instantaneously fade, but Hope is renewed, because we recognize that God rules and reigns, and we belong to Him.
I’ll make this conclusion pointed and brief:
- Yearn for God.
- Accept Christ as the One who loves and rescues you.
- Allow His Holy Spirit to take up residence within your heart.
- Close the year of 2021 with renewed commitment to live for Jesus Christ.
- The Supernatural will guide you, and your natural will be transformed, changed for the better, renewed.
We have choices to make; the ones so many of us choose are these:
- Draw closer to God
- Earnestly seek His will and ways
- Dedicate our lives to Him in all that we do
After all, This Time of Year is “Unto Us.” God is “for us.” This reminds me of song lyrics I was privileged to write while still a younger man:
If God be for us,
Who can be against us?
For there’s nothing, nothing at all, (oh yea),
That is stronger than His love.
(Oh, listen now …)
He is our strength from day to day
And He will never let us fall (Oh, no!)
And when trials come to thwart the way
He is stronger than them all!
Yes, this season is Unto Us.