At the end of a year like 2020 it might not seem like there is much to celebrate at Christmas, but there is. Despite difficult times we are still incredibly blessed. At Christmas we are reminded of God’s greatest blessing—the gift of God the Son, Jesus, who miraculously became a man born of a virgin. Jesus lived the life we should have lived and died the death that we deserve. Every person is separated from God because we pridefully worship ourselves more than God. Yet out of his amazing grace and love God blesses anyone who believes in Jesus because he wants what’s best for us which is to turn from our sinful, terminal life and draw closer to him—the source of true, abundant life. God is what is best for us above anything in all the universe.

Christmas is about love and giving.  We love because God first loved us. We give because God first gave to us. Jesus is the Christ of Christmas—God’s gift to us so we can know him. Christ means anointed one. God chose Jesus to be the savior of the world. Only Jesus could do that for you and me. As part of the triune Godhead (made of Father, Son, and Spirit) Jesus is perfectly and completely God, who also became a perfect and complete man. Anyone who trusts and obeys Jesus becomes a member of God’s royal family, inheriting his relationship with God, his kingdom, and his everlasting life, joy, peace, and hope. In the book of Ephesians in the Bible, the apostle Paul lists several of the amazing blessings believers of Jesus have in him.

In Christ you have redemption and forgiveness of your sin. You are free and made alive in your spirit. You are given life and peace as a part of God’s loving, eternal family. You enjoy a personal relationship with God experiencing his almighty power, strength, grace, kindness, and hope. You are blessed with spiritual riches and seated with Jesus in the heavenly realms. You have God’s Spirit enlightening you with wisdom and revelation and empowering you to do good. You are called into God’s mission of reconciliation. You are given spiritual gifts to edify and equip others. You are filled with all the fullness of God as you grow and become like Jesus. Wow! This thrills and yet humbles my heart. I am brought to my knees in speechless gratitude. “God, you are so gracious and loving. I am overwhelmed and not worthy. Thank you for Jesus. Help me to love you and others the way he does.” 

This Christmas I encourage you to quiet your soul before God and read the book of Ephesians for yourself. It is only six short chapters. While reading chapters 1-3, make note of all the times it says “in Christ” or “through Christ.” Let God speak through his Word, to show you how much he loves you and how much he has in store for you in Jesus. Thank God for Jesus. Ask him to forgive you of any waywardness and restore you to the person he created you to be. Then live out your blessings in Christ by faith. Follow Paul’s exhortation in chapters 4-6 to walk with Jesus in wisdom, in light, in unity, and in love. “I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3). “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). This Christmas and every day may those around you benefit from seeing Christ in you and seeing you in Christ.