Rev. Sudha Mehta©
Suddenly at this time everything livens up with anticipation. I know if it wasn’t for the kids, Peter and I would have a very simple but boring Christmas. The preparation begins right around Thanksgiving. Peter puts up the tree, I decorate it, Peter puts up the stockings, I do the shopping, Peter does the lighting on the deck, I do the wrapping, Peter lights up the porch, I do the cooking, baking and freezing. Then we clean and decorate more. We work as a team. The kids have their favorites meals and treats and I do my best to have them . . . and our house gets very HAPPY and NOISY!!!
I am sure you find this a festive time as we do. After all Christmas is to celebrate the Birth of Christ our Savior.
Whether you are going home to be with family, or family is coming home to you, this is the homecoming tradition of Christmas Worldwide. If you can’t be together with family for some reason, you find and “make family” with friends at least for this time and enjoy their company.
I won’t speak of the commercialization of Christmas, or how secular it has become. Today I don’t want to cry about how the World celebrates the season without celebrating the reason for the season. I won’t decry the paganization of Christmas. I will not whine about the meaninglessness of the “Holiday Tree” and the stupid politics of tolerance to where even candy canes become “offensive” and “Santa” is no longer acceptable to the secular world (go figure that one!)
Today, it is all about homecoming! We get together with our families for big meals, and football games, parties, music . . . and we say “Merry Christmas” . . . it is “Okay” this year to do so! Two Christmases ago it was not “politically correct,” and we all were horrified thinking the World wants to do away with Christmas, but then the tide turned and it is “Okay” this year, Phew! Oh, how politics wants to govern the tides of faith!
I whine! I sigh!! I digress!!!
We Christians celebrate the birth of Christ on Earth. Remember He always has been God, we celebrate that He took on human flesh and came to dwell among us. He left His home and His father to come fulfill His mission culminating with His own life sacrificed on the Cross and the subsequent Resurrection and Ascension. Jesus left His home with His fathers blessing, putting aside His divinity to be formed in Mary’s womb as a human baby.
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 is called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with judgment and with righteousness, from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will perform this.(Darby)
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One very important thing to note in the above Scripture passage – Names/Titles He is given in verse 6 are these:
3. Mighty God.
4. Father of Eternity.
5. Prince of Peace.
Many translations place Wonderful Counselor together but that is incorrect. Think about it, what other kind of Counselor would He be if not the best? Terrible, lame, weak, bad? No, it is a given that He is the best Counselor, that need not have an adjective! “Wonderful” is a Name/Title separate from Counselor.
Remember Jesus said:
Matthew 5:18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass away from the law until all things are accomplished.(CSB)
Accuracy matters! Just removing a coma in this case changes the meaning and takes away from His name/Title.
Jesus lived 33 years in a fully human body, not as God but as the Son of Man. He gave up all the riches, glory, and comforts of heaven, for a lowly birth. That said, I think the hardest would have been the separation from His Father. Surely Father never took His eyes off His beloved Son, yet they were separated in a very real human sense. The only time Father turned away was when Jesus carried the enormous weight of ALL HUMAN SIN EVER COMMITTED FROM ADAM TO THE TIME THAT HE WILL SET UP HIS ETERNAL KINGDOM HERE ON EARTH. I hope you catch the gravity of this statement! This was the weight Jesus carried on the Cross. The weight was so huge that the Bible says He became SIN and even Father could not bear the sight. That moment is when Jesus cried out:
Matthew 27: 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?(KJV)
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That was the only time that Jesus referred to His Father as “My God,” instead of My Father. More on that some other time! Bottom-line, He gave up everything for you and me. He left home so you and I can have a reason to celebrate. Yet how often do we make it about Him?
Truth be told, I don’t care about how the World celebrates or doesn’t, I do care about how His children celebrate. You realize that we make an idol of Christmas itself if we do not keep Christ in Christmas!
The average unbeliever is happy to tell you Christmas is about lights, decorations, family, gifts, parties, Santa and the reindeer, dressing up, great food, drinks, sports, even wild behavior in a drunken state, but not Christ. The unbeliever will even sing happy Christmas songs, but if Christ is not in it, it means nothing.
Jesus died for all, but not all receive Him. Jesus blood is sufficient for all to be saved through it and be in heaven, but it cannot be efficient for any unless they recognize their helpless estate and come to Him for that forgiveness and covering.
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Creator of all the Universe
God of all the World
But He is the Savior of only those who with a sincere heart CALL upon Him and seek Him.
Jeremiah 29: 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the LORD . . . (BSB)
If you are one of His own you recognize that He left home to give you a true homecoming to heaven. He Himself had His true homecoming at the Ascension. Forty days after He arose from the grave and ten days before Pentecost! That was the day His father received Him into His own arms, and heaven welcomed the Son of God with great celebration, and pomp . . . that was the day He returned having completed His mission.
Imagine this glorious reunion in heaven:
Father: Well done, My Son!
Jesus: The mission is complete, Father.
Father: We need to help mankind spread the Good News, and prepare a bride for you.
Jesus: The message is left in capable hands . . .
At this point Father, Son and Holy Spirit look down at the tiny, somewhat bedraggled group of disciples still gazing Skyward. The two angels have told them that Jesus will return the same way, but they were still not ready to go home. The events that led up to this moment were etched in their minds and hearts so that to leave would not have been easy. They stayed a while and gazed Heavenward.
In heaven Father, Son, and Holy Spirit looked Earthward.
Jesus: Now it is up to You, Holy Spirit. They will need you here on!
Holy spirit: Leave it to Me. I will get Your bride ready, I will remind them of all You have done and taught them. I will be in them and upon them. Until Father says it is time for You to bring Your Bride home, I will be all they need to become transformed into Your reflection, a bride fit for the King. I will see to it that the Great Commission You have given will go out into all the World, and all who call upon Your name will receive Me in their hearts to guide them to You. I will raise up sons and daughters for the Father, and We will have a Glorious Homecoming for them just as You promised. They will come home, spirit, soul and body. They will come home!
John 14: 1 Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house there are many mansions. And if not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again and will receive you to Myself, that where I am, you may be also. 4 And you know the way to the place I am going.”(BLB)
Now that’s The Homecoming I look forward to!
When it is time we will all go, in the meantime we all must live life to the fullest in His service. Enjoy living, loving, caring, sharing, laughing, rejoicing, even weeping and mourning when it is called for.
Live generously! Live anticipating a Glorious Homecoming!!
Merry Christmas to all!!!
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