As we enter into this week before the celebration of Christ’s birth, it is so important that as Christians we remember without the Christ of the cross, Jesus is just a baby in a manger. The beginning of the story is amazing and wonderful. But without the end of the story, salvation is not possible. Celebrate and rejoice in the birth of the Christ child, but also give thanks for the sacrifice He made so that you and I could spend eternity with the Father.
That is the true gift of Christmas. That is the story foretold. That is what makes the season magical.
In the book of John, Jesus leaves us with a message about his love. We all know John 15:13, but without the verses before it, and the ones that come after, for me the message is not clear because verse 14 says “You are my friends if you do what I command.” (vs. 14).
A friend of Jesus. A sister to the King. A follower of the Christ child who came into the world willingly, fully knowing the end of the story.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.” John 15:9-17.
That sweet friend, is the true gift of Christmas.