Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. …so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness. – Romans 6:4, 18, 19b, NKJV
As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. – Colossians 2:6-10, NKJV
In the last month, it’s really gelled with me why we celebrate Christmas. It’s more than just a nice story that kicks off the New Testament. It’s more than just the birthday of baby Jesus. It’s more than a reason to get the family together. Christmas is the start of the climax to The Story. The Story of God’s love and his redemption. Not just that, though – it’s The Story of new life with God. New life – imagine that! A clean slate, a new heart, a new lease out of life, to live just as God wants us to – glorifying Him! Living with love, joy, peace, and hope. Those four words get so cliché as they are everywhere at Christmas. But there is a reason they’re used at Christmastime. Christmas was the start, and it was the start of this:
Unconditional love from God, to share with others – love is what life is all about.
Amazing joy in who God is and what he has done – he is now our God, and he has brought us into a free, always-available relationship with Him.
Unfathomable peace because our sin is as far as the east is from the west, and because God has reserved a place in heaven for us.
Reassuring hope that one day, we will see his face, we will be completed, and God will wipe every tear from our eyes.
What a new life we now have! Isn’t it amazing, a real reason to celebrate?
Have a very merry Christmas, all you wonderful people out there, remembering what God has done in sending Jesus to give us new life – it’s the start of the climax to The Story.