Monday, December 26, 2016

Reflections on Christmas: The Easter Connection

The gifts have been unwrapped and the decorations will soon be put away.  We have reflected for a time on the birth of Jesus and in a small way we have reflected on the marvelous life of Jesus.

In reality, the search for Jesus will take us far beyond the manger in Bethlehem.  If we would truly follow the star we must go to Nazareth, to Galilea, to Jerusalem, if only in our hearts. 

We must find not only the infant Jesus, but Jesus the man.  We must find the fisher of men, the teacher, the leader,  the healer,  the friend.  We will find him by the sea of Galilea. We will find him on the Mount of Olives.   We will find him on the dusty roads of Palestine. We will find him with the leper, the adulterer, the crippled, the sick.   Ultimately, if we would find Jesus, we must follow the star to the Garden of Gethsamane, to Golgatha, and to the Garden Tomb.

Our worship must take us past the manger to kneel at the cross, for here he finished his work.   The gift was complete.   This is the gift that matters most; the gift of all gifts; the gift of the atonement of Jesus Christ. Without Easter there could not be a Christmas.  This is the gift of which the angels  exhultantly sang; good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people.  Joy to the World, the Lord is Come! 

Jesus forever changed the world.  He has forever changed me.

 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

The glorious message of Christmas is the Easter Message.  It is the message of the empty tomb.  Like Mary Magdalene, I have stood in the empty tomb, and I know now just as surely as Mary knew then, that Jesus has overcome the world.

May we always feel the peace that passeth all understanding  in the sweet knowledge that Christ has overcome the world.