As we enter a new year we must close the door behind us on the old year. Someone has reminded us that we all need a filing cabinet and a trash can. The trash should be used for past sins and failures which if taken into the New Year would weigh us down. But there are other things such as debts owed and kindnesses shown us that need to be filed and go with us into 2014.
Christmas is a time of giving, with God setting the example for us when he gave his one and only son that first Christmas Day. This was the greatest gift ever offered – Jesus, given to be the savior of the world. His son would live on the earth and grow up teaching us and showing us how to live, and then one day die on the cross to pay for our sins.
In Leviticus, an ancient text sacred to Jews and Christians, God reminds his people that the land belongs to him, that they are but sojourners upon it, and that it is their purpose to provide for its redemption.
Pastor Phillips Brooks was in the Holy Land in 1865 on Christmas Eve. He rode a horse the short distance from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. As he approached the place where Jesus was born he heard the choir singing. Brooks was inspired to write a poem expressing how he felt to stand near the place of Jesus’ birth on earth.
Christmas is a stressful time for many people. It may be the crushing grief because of the loss of a loved one, parties to plan, gifts to buy, and meals to cook. Any number of things can bring frustration in this season of the year.