Time to celebrate:
*CHRISTMAS IN JULY*
Here it is that time of year again where we do some celebrating, of Christ’s birth and what it means to us. We can celebrate Christmas every day if we wish to, and maybe we should. Christmas is all about Love and Giving.
Today we have another uplifting piece by
to Learn of Christ's Birth Firsthand
When the hot, sticky days of July begin to wear on one's nerves, there's only one thing to do: Celebrate Christmas. The nativity story never gets old, does it? Most of you could recite from memory Luke's recounting of it: "There were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shown round about them..." For all of their devotion to their lambs and sheep, shepherds were despised in first century Palestine. Those who considered themselves as proper members of society looked upon shepherds as uncouth and untouchable because they worked with animals. Sheep, you see, have oil fleece and as shepherds, they had to handle them, often carrying an injured one. It wasn't the mother sheep that stopped the shivering of a newly-born lamb, it was the shepherd's arm and hand. Because the shepherd had to be on duty 24/7 to attend to sick, lost, or injured, sheep, they didn't attend synagogue regularly, and they were looked down upon for this also by the very legalistic Pharisees. You would have thought that they would be more respected and appreciated, but they weren't.
Yet, like all people who are despised for whatever reason, they were useful to those who despised them, It was a lamb that was offered as a temple sacrifice, an unblemished one at that. Temple authorities had their own flocks just outside of Jerusalem in the Bethlehem hills. Here the shepherds watched over their own flocks as well as the flocks of the temple authorities, always on the lookout for that perfect lamb. And it was to this despised, rural, coarse, smelly group of men that the birth of the spotless Lamb of God was first announced. It was the lowly shepherds who first heard the words, "For unto you is born this day a Savior, who is Christ the Lord...And they came with haste and found Mary, Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And they worshipped him."
When we were lost, dirty, and outcast He revealed himself to us and let us know that He wants to become our Savior. And even if you don't consider yourself ordinary but perhaps more urbane or sophisticated, Jesus came to be your savior too. Each of us needs to come with haste and worship the Lamb of God. Christmas in July is the perfect time for each of us to reconsider the purpose of Christ's birth and celebrate with great adoration, just like those lowly shepherds.
Ladies of Friends Needing Friends will be gathering together in Florida and New Jersey to throw birthday parties for Jesus. Enjoy each other's fellowship, the traditions you treasure (even the silly ones), laugh a lot, partake of a lovely luncheon, sing familiar carols, all adoring the Lamb of God who so loves and delights in you, regardless of your status in this life. Merry Christmas to one and all!
Reflection: If you are reading this blog and have not asked the Jesus of the Bible to become your Lord and Savior, I implore you to do so now. If you long for a lasting joy in your life, I ask you to trust in Jesus Christ for eternal life made available to you through His death and resurrection. Jesus Christ himself said that if you come to Him, you will become a child of God and a joint heir with Him in all the wonderful things that God has prepared for those that trust in Him. It is the best decision you will ever make.