Celebrate Christmas with Gratitude. Over two thousand years ago the Apostle Luke wrote these words. â€œThat night there were Shepard staying in the fields nearby; guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel appeared among them ... and the radiance of the Lordâ€™s glory surrounded them.Â They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. â€œDonâ€™t be afraid!â€ he said. â€œI bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior-yes, the Messiah, the Lord-has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth lying in a manger.â€ (Luke 2:8-12).
The Apostle Luke talks about the real reason for Christmas, â€œChrist birthâ€. Somewhat unbelievable, here we are in the 21st century after the birth of Christ and we often forget what Christmas is all about. It is about the birth of our Savior, the Messiah, you know the Son of God who took away all of our sins. â€œThe Oneâ€ or should I say â€œThe Real Oneâ€ in which all of Christianity rests on, Christ.
I realize that we have commercialized Christmas and often it is no more than a feeding frenzy of shop till you drop and spend till you bend with a charge now and pay later mentality. However, this Christmas with economy in the shape it is in and America searching for true leadership, maybe we should be grateful that things are as good as they are. Before you get carried away and think I have lost my mind, letâ€™s review certain facts.
If you have a refrigerator with food in it, or have spare change in a dish ash tray or anywhere, if you have a bank account, whether you have a balance or not, you are richer than ninety-two percent of the people on the face of the earth. If you have a reasonable portion of health and strength you have enough to be grateful.
Grateful is not having everything you want or even need; it is appreciating what you have. God has blessed our country and undoubtedly He has blessed you. I am not saying you have everything you need or even want, what I am saying is this is a time to be thankful, grateful and appreciative. The book of Romans says â€œWhen they knew God they did not honor him as God, by giving him thanks. (1:21)â€ For those of us who know God this is a time to thank God and be grateful. For those who do not know God this is a great time to get to know him.
This Christmas rather than fell helpless let us thank God that we are healthy and entering a new day in America. Letâ€™s thank God for His son Jesus who takes away all sin. Letâ€™s thank
God that we are surviving the most difficult economic time in the last sixty years. Letâ€™s thank God that He has never left us nor has He ever forsaken us. Letâ€™s thank God that we will see better days. Letâ€™s thank God for we were created for a time such as this. Letâ€™s thank God because He is good. (Psalm 106:1) Letâ€™s thank God because this Christmas will not be like any other Christmas.
â€œAlways be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is Godâ€™s will for you who belong to Christ Jesusâ€ I Thessalonians 5:16-18
Contribution Writer, Bishop Sherwood Carthen of BOSS-Bayside of South Sacramento