Lenten Christmas

Though it’s the Christmas season, I can’t help but also think (& feel) that it’s the Lenten season now. Whenever I think of Christ’s birth, I also remember His death. We can not celebrate one and neglect the other. His birth and death embody the Father’s unconditional love for us sinners.

That was my Facebook status yesterday.

For the past days I’ve been in various seasonal merriment. I admit I don’t like parties, but I don’t hate attending one. I am just so.. passive when it comes to things like that. Anyway…

Sometimes, in the midst of the festive celebration, people forget, have taken for granted, and/or compromise the meaning of Christmas (no, I don’t think it’s because of the usage of Xmas. Go and research about it..). I have encountered lots of messages about the real Reason of this season. We know right: it’s the Lord Jesus. But people also forget why He was born. Well, it’s because in the years to come in His life, He had to face the inevitable– to die.

Christ’s death is as significant as His birth. I often think or imagine how Jesus, when He was still a child, could endure the thought that someday, at God’s proper and perfect time, He would be arrested, beaten, scourged, and crucified for the sins He didn’t commit.

In His birth, every prophecy concerning Him was fulfilled. In His birth, hope came which the Father had promised a long time ago. In His birth, the promise of God’s redemption had started.

But in His death, everything was accomplished. “It is finished” (John 19:30).  He was despised, rejected and afflicted for our sins and iniquities; by His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:3-5). Through Him we are saved, forgiven and accepted.

But He did not stay dead. “My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down on Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father” (John 10:17-18); “Death no longer has dominion over Him” (Romans 6:9).

It is love why the Father sent His only Son to the world. It is love why the Son took the cup of suffering. It’s because of love why He was nailed on the cross, thinking about you and me, before we were even born. Jesus is the embodiment of God’s love.

Cause me not to forget the cross;
make me always remember Your love–
in Your place in a manger,
and through the bloodied banner above.

Take me to the Calvary,
where all my sins were laid;
take me to the foot of sacrifice
where all my debts You have paid.

Cause me to come to You
in weeping and brokenness,
so that upon reaching Your grace,
I will be filled with victory and gladness.

I’d like to remember Christ’s sacrifice not just during Lent, but even in this season. Actually it must be everyday. Truly, ‘Tis the season to be– joyful!

poem (c) gRaY 2011

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