Christmas is coming to the most unlikely places
As the calendar turns to December, it is obvious that Christmas is coming. The decorations are going up, classic Christmas music is on the radio and there is an expectation of renewing the blessings of Christmas. Many of us have never known a December that was not centered on Christmas. It is an unimaginable gift to have been taught from childhood about our Savior Jesus who was born of a virgin in a Bethlehem stable in order to save all people from their sin. It is a great blessing to know that the love, joy, peace and hope of Christmas flows from the true meaning of the season which is that God is with us. It is a great gift. It is a gift that many have never known. It is a gift that the first five verses of Mathew declare can come to people who have never considered the blessings of Christmas to be possible.
Matthew begins his telling of the Christmas story with a genealogy of Jesus. That genealogy is a record of all the people God placed in the family line of Jesus. That record begins with an idol worshipping rich man named Abraham who was satisfied with his life separate from God. He was slow to obey when God told him to follow him and it made no difference anyway because he was childless and too old to be the father of anyone. He never considered Christmas but God considered him. There are many people today who, like Abraham, have never experienced Christmas because of the barriers of other faiths, comfort without God or just simply believing the blessings are not possible. The message of Christmas is that the blessings of God are available for all.
Matthew's genealogy moves on until it comes to a prostitute named Rahab. Rahab knew that the people of God would soon arrive at her city but felt no joy at the prospect of their arrival. Because of her sin and the sin of her city, she stood condemned and thought of the coming of God's people as a threat. She never considered Christmas, but God considered her. Today, there are many people who have never experienced the blessings of Christmas and think that they cannot because of the depths of their sin. The message of Christmas is that Jesus came to forgive sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The genealogy moves on to find a young lady named Ruth whose people had been forbidden from joining God's people and whose only experience with the people of God had been a family who had a very weak faith and in fact had told her to go back to her own god's because there was nothing for her with God's people. She only considered Christmas because God was considering her. Tragically today there are many who have never considered the true blessings of Christmas because they have never known anyone whose life exemplified those blessings. The message of Christmas is that Jesus came to reveal himself to all people.
As we celebrate Christmas this year, we should remember that there are many who have never known the blessings of this season. We should remember them and we should know that Christmas can come to all people.
Christmas comes when God acts to send his truth to places he has never been considered.
Christmas comes when people have a chance to hear the unchanging message of God's grace to forgive sin which is for all people.
Christmas comes when people decide to put their faith and trust in Jesus and allow him to give them all the blessings he has.
The fact that Christmas can come to all people should be a challenge for everyone who has received those blessings to take their celebration of Christ outside of our homes and churches and into places where our Lord has not been considered.