I wonder what Jesus wants for Christmas? After all, it is his birthday. In all the gift giving we do, do we give Jesus anything? God Almighty came to earth as a human being in order to give us everything of importance: forgiveness of sin and eternal life. Compared to that, what can we give? This is not a new thought and I am sure all of you can think of the standard answers to that question like: a tithe, love, patience with someone annoying, forgiving our enemies, regular worship, etc. Yet being able to give those things, and anything else that Jesus would want us to give, begins with giving Jesus ourselves. Being a Christian is an inside out way of life. It starts on the inside and if there is nothing of Jesus there, nothing of him will come out into the world. What Jesus wants the most on his birthday is an invitation to live inside of us. He wants us to let his love be the power behind changing us from the inside out. We are all changing all the time anyway. Every day we change at least a little bit. Ask the gray haired people and they’ll you the changes happen faster than they wish they would. No matter what we do, we are going to change all the time. Jesus wants love to be the mover and shaker of the changes in our lives. It’s not my business to change anyone else. And it is not within my own power to change myself for the better. On my own I’ll just get bitter, not better. But if I open my heart to Jesus and pay attention to what he teaches me, then the changes in my life will persistently accumulate for the better. When enough of us do that, there will indeed be peace on earth and good will among all people. (Luke 2:14 paraphrased)
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