Read Mark 15:19-20
It’s nearly Christmas. It is one of the most joyous Christian holidays, a time to remember the birth of Christ our savior. Christmas is a time to share our blessings with one another, and to be surrounded by the people we love. It is a time for giving and a time to be charitable. It is a reminder of how much God loves us.
One Sunday during Advent last year, one of the kids in my Sunday school class asked, “Why did God send Jesus if he knew he was going to die?” I paused at her question and thought - “Why do I always get the hard ones?” It’s peculiar, because we as Christians this time of year, remember the captivating times in Jesus’ life. We love to tell the Nativity story, with the glory of the beautiful angels. We can’t forget the Magi’s precious gifts, the miracle of the Virgin birth, and in my mind’s eye, I see fluffy little lambs smiling at a tiny, beautiful baby. However, amid the manger scene with the cooing doves, we forget that shortly after his birth, Christ had to flee from Herod’s army. We overlook the price he paid for our sins. We forget the lengths that God went to show his love.
To be honest, thinking about this left me dumbfounded and I still had a little girl with a question. I knew that God knew what would happen to his son. God had told Isaiah, along with several other prophets, of the suffering the Savior would endure. God knew that the very beings he had created would crucify him for trying to save us from ourselves. So I told my curious young student, “God knew this would happen ahead of time and yet he loved us so immeasurably that he sent his son to die. That way we could spend eternity with our Heavenly Father.” That’s the greatest gift and a story of love. That is the story of Christmas.
Prayer: Dear God, help us to remember the price you paid for us, because of love for us. Teach us to remember what true love is, and share that love, God’s love, with all. Amen.
From the Church Street Advent Devotion Book, 2013