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Our God Owns the Holidays!

1/1/19 | New Years | by Brad Braley

Our God Owns the Holidays!

    I love this time of year!

    I start playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving.

    I enjoy time off from work, spending time with family and friends, going to Christmas concerts and Christmas parties (Yes! if there aren’t too many party games), and exchanging gifts.

    I love our church’s Christmas celebrations. I worship as we sing about our Savior’s birth. I soak up messages about the prophecies of Jesus’ birth, the angels’ announcement, the shepherds’ worship at the manger, and the magi coming to present gifts to Christ as a child.

    I spend a lot of time thinking about and worshipping God around our Savior’s incarnation and humble birth, and it fills me with joy thinking of why He came and what He accomplished.

    "Shepherds bow before the Lamb Gazing at the glory Gifts of men from distant lands Prophesy the story Gold - a King is born today Incense - God is with us Myrrh - His death will make a way And by His blood He'll win us.

    Son of Adam, Son of heaven, Given as a ransom. Reconciling God and man Christ our mighty Champion! What a Savior! What a Friend! What a glorious mystery! Once a babe in Bethlehem Now the Lord of history."

    Joy Has Dawned | Keith and Kristyn Getty

    Now, Christmas 2018 is winding down. The new year is upon us; 2019 is here. It’s nearly twelve months before Christmas is here again.

    But I’m still in the holiday frame of mind.

    Because now that we’ve celebrated our Savior’s birth, I am so looking forward to remembering His willing and obedient sacrifice and celebrating His resurrection -- the pivotal point in all of human history! Our God owns the best holidays of the year!!

    But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

    Titus 3:4–7 (NASB95)

    I was thinking about the time between Christmas and Resurrection Sunday and came up with an idea I’m going to try out at home with my family. I’m planning to spend the sixteen or so weeks from New Year’s Day to Resurrection Sunday on April 21 reading the four gospels, obviously starting with Christ’s birth, and ending with His resurrection just before Easter Sunday so that we refresh ourselves with Christ’s earthly ministry, His work on the cross, and His resurrection just before we celebrate together as a church family. Would you think about doing this also? If you’re interested in trying this out, I’ve put together a reading plan – with the help of Logos Bible Software – that you can use which arranges the events of the four gospels in chronological order. The schedule doesn’t last the full 16 weeks – it has several days of padding to account for “misses.”

    After that, before you know it, it will be Christmas time again . . .

    Brad Braley | RBC Elder