Everybody’s different. Paul said in the Bible, “One man esteems one day above the other, another esteems every day alike.” (Romans 14:5) I guess I’m like the second group there when it comes to holidays. But also there’s just something about Christmas, or at least there should be. In many parts of the world, it’s the most revered holiday of the year. And of course if you’re a Christian, you know it’s supposed to be the celebration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.
For probably I can say “literally billions of people”, the story of the birth of Jesus is known to them through the Christmas carols and all the hoopla that goes on each year in late December. Or early January if you are of the Orthodox branch of Christianity.
But I guess I’m hoping to be more than informational here in this post. Being a Christian and/or a believer in the God of Abraham is more (or should be more) than information and knowledge. It’s supposed to be something that goes to your very soul and essence of your being, changing it radically and totally.
Like God said in Ezekiel, “A new heart I will give you and a new spirit I will put within you. I will take the stony heart out of you, and I will give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26) I can certainly say with all my soul that this is what happened to me. I was like “the tin man” in the movie, “The Wizard of Oz.” I just felt like I didn’t really have a heart. Or if I did, it didn’t really work very well at all.
That’s why when I came to the Lord and I was told that I needed to love the Lord and tell Him I loved Him, I just told Him that I felt like I hardly even knew what love was. I believed in Him. But He would have to teach me how to love Him or actually love anybody for that matter. Over the years I think I can say that He has heard that prayer and gradually given me more of a heart that can love Him and others.
This may not be the kind of Christmas message you’ve heard very often and maybe it’s not even the kind of Christmas message someone is supposed to share. But, sadly, often Christmas has been a pretty rough time for me. For one, just being really honest, it seems to happen with me that the enemy of God seems to especially want to act up around this time of the year.
Some of the most dangerous situations I’ve ever been in happened right at Christmas and it even involved other Christians. The darkness just hates the light and it seems the enemy of God brings depression, anger, and whatever else he can get a hold of to try to break into the camp of the saints and into their hearts at Christmas time, even more than at other times. Maybe you’ve never experienced that or maybe you have. But I have repeatedly and it’s made me a little wary of Christmas time.
On the other hand, I think that if I can steer myself around that particular danger and make an effort to make Christmas a time of personal devotion and a time of specially drawing near to the Lord, I’ve found that it can be a really wonderful time.
Like it is for many people, the songs of Christmas, Christmas carols that really sing about Jesus have been a special thing for me all my life, even when I wasn’t a Christian. I’ve heard a number of friends of mine say the same thing about a certain Christmas song, that it’s not only their favorite Christmas song, it’s their favorite song of all.
But I’m speaking about the song, “Oh Holy Night”. It is just one of the most stirring, soul-quickening songs I’ve ever heard, probably the most so of any song. I suppose if you aren’t a Christian, it might not speak to you. But if you are, it’s just like a national anthem of heaven, or something like that. For me each Christmas, whether I’m with my family or not, whether I’m with Christians or not, the high point of Christmas is hearing and singing this song. I’ll add it in here.
I hope you can singing it from the bottom of your heart and be moved, touched and thankful for that holy night when our dear Jesus was born. Without Him we can do nothing good and be nothing but lost and hopeless souls.
I’ve had a really pretty good year and I hope you have too. It is such a thrill how I’ve been in connect with so many this year, friends new and old, both here in the U.S. and literally all over the world. I know the darkness rages against us all so much. So it’s always a thrill to hear of all of you how are keeping the faith and continuing to stay on the Wall of His will wherever you are. I love you very much. I pray you have a great Christmas and a blessed coming year for Him. Thank God for the Holy Night which has made our wonderful lives possible. With love, your friend, Mark