"In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!" Philippians 2:5-8
Yesterday at FredWes we had an amazing day of celebrating relationships!
I was privileged to dedicate five beautiful babies. As their proud and grateful parents and grandparents carried their children to the front of the church to publicly dedicate themselves to being godly parents and to dedicate their precious little ones to the Lord. There were so many reasons to be excited about this but chief among them was the fact that the Faith was being passed to another generation!
Also, I baptized three young men who boldly professed their faith in Christ and just prior to their baptism their fathers came forward to pray over them. What a blessing that was!
The whole congregation swelled with pride as the children sang the songs of the season and celebrated the amazing love of God expressed in Christ!
In case those three celebrations didn't tug hard enough at your emotions, a precious young couple renewed their marriage vows on the eve of their 10th anniversary. For those of us who know the incredible work God has done in their individual lives and in their marriage it was more than just touching, it was extremely gratifying!
Relationships are what give meaning to life. Relationships make life rich! Loving and being loved is why God created us and placed us in families and communities.It is in loving one another that we learn to live in His love. And as we grow in our ability to receive His love, we grow in our ability to express love to others.
According to this portion of Scripture, Christmas was driven by God's desire to be in relationship with us and His hope that we would learn find fulfillment in giving and receiving love.
The reason that the craziness and the crush of commercialism and consumerism are bearable is because we are doing it to bring pleasure to others. Our goal in gift-shopping and gift-wrapping and gift giving is improved relationships. Christmas helps us connect with those we love the most!
Today, as you reflect fondly on the people you love, praise God for Christmas! As you meditate on how His love and grace have enirched your life, praise God for Christmas! When you realize how much peace and satisfaction your soul has found in Christ, thank God for Christmas! Christmas happened so that healthy relationships can happen for you, and in you and to you!