Christmas In the Heart by Pastor Ken Damstrom

“EVERY CHRISTMAS IS A MIRACLE THAT BRINGS US LIGHT AND LOVE ON  THE DARKEST DAYS OF THE YEAR. ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS OPEN OUR EYES TO IT.” -AllWording.com

Perhaps we can just add a bit to the above truth by saying, “we need to have God to open the eyes of our heart,” along with our physical eyes. This has been rather a dark year for so many upset by personal struggles along with the Pandemic health crisis. People are reaching out for hope and guidance to make it another month, week, or even a day.

GALATIANS 4:4,5 tells us of a prediction and promise of long ago being  fulfilled in the birth of Jesus.  “But when the fulness  of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”

The coming of Jesus in the flesh, as Saviour, is no doubt one of the greatest mysteries of our religion. Ages upon ages had rolled on, until that star-filled night over Bethlehem. Angels above, and shepherds below, heard the beautiful, heavenly music, in these words; “Unto you is born this day in the city of David, Christ the Lord.” Jesus was sent by and from the Father.He came down from heaven!  He had been sharing the glory with the Father before He came.  He was divine, the Son of God sent from God to us. In John 8:12, Jesus declares, ” I AM the LIGHT OF THE WORLD.”  He came not as any other light but, The Light of the world.  When the lights are turned on in a dark room, the darkness is dispelled!  When we let Jesus reign in our hearts and live darkness, depression, drudgery, despair all flee. 

Christmas in the heart means that Jesus has come not just to a stable or manger, but into our lives to illuminate our living.  He comes not as a babe of Bethlehem at Christmas, but, as One Who suffered and died on Calvary, for all of our sins!  Someone said, Jesus was born to die!  What great love the Father has poured out upon our lives.  His Son, our Redeemer, has made a giant step from Heaven to Earth so that we might find it possible to go from Earth to Heaven.  What a miracle of Christmas!

At times our traditions, as wonderful as they may be, may overshadow and captivate our hearts at Christmas.  The lights, the music, the joyous atmosphere of socializing with others, may steal away our hearts from the One Who came to us on that first Christmas.  Jesus, at times had to warn the Pharisees, and others about how traditions can distract us from real meaning.  Christmas in the heart keeps us focused upon Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords in our lives. It is all about the joy of Jesus that creates an electric atmosphere all around us, bringing excitement to the child, and hope to older people everywhere.  On a trip, flying high above the clouds, we often see the sun, bright and clear, even though beneath us there is darkness and storms. This  reminds us that with Jesus Christ there is  always hope and help if we allow Him to guide us. The Bible says, we are “heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ”.  Once you take Jesus into your heart and life royal blood begins to flow to you. You then belong to another Kingdom!

During troublesome times some of us may be wondering, “Where is God?” Has He abandoned me?  The truth is that He has adopted you not abandoned you, and He is with us, Emmanuel!  The magic of Christmas is Jesus in the heart.  The Miracle of miracles! We have our crises, however, Jesus breaks every chain, crosses every barrier, scales the highest mountains of trouble, to apply His Grace. Jesus tells all of His disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God trust also in me…” (John 14:1)   Christmas in the heart is a bold challenge for all of us to realize that we must open the door of our hearts from the inside to allow the Holy Spirit to take control and experience “the joy of the Lord as our strength” Nehemiah 8:10.

This Christmas if our hearts are closed in any way to the love and presence of Jesus Christ, we surely need to reopen our hearts. If we have not opened our hearts to Jesus, we need to open that inner door of the heart and allow Jesus to enter.

Isaac Watts wrote a hymn in the early 18th century which tells us of what God really did for each of us to redeem us from our sins.

                      “Plunged in a gulf of dark despair,

                           We wretched sinners lay;

                       Without one cheering beam of hope,

                            or spark of glimmering day!

                        With pitying eyes “The Prince of Grace”

                             Beheld our helpless grief;

                         He saw: and oh! Amazing love!

                              He ran to our relief.”  (Praise to Jesus, the Redeemer)

David, in the Old Testament, was a God chaser. His actions proved it. He wrote 73 Psalms of worship. David was hungry for God, he had a passion for spiritual things, and despite all of his failures he tried to please God. CHRISTmas in the heart speaks to us during this joyous season and reminds us to allow the feelings of our hearts be expressed in love to Jesus and to those all around us, as we celebrate CHRISTmas!

Life is a one-way trip, and with the time that we have we need to make Jesus feel at home in our hearts.  He is not a Guest, but a rightful Owner, since we are “bought with His blood.” When Jesus enters our hearts at Christmas or anytime, He is taking possession of what really belongs to Him. His aim is to dwell in our hearts and create a reaction of rejoicing.  Understanding why Jesus really came encourages us to experience Christmas in our hearts.  May the Joy of Jesus make your hearts full of CHRISTmas this year and always.

                             Feliz Navidad, Pastor Ken

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