Hear the Christmas Message
It's Christmas time again—a special, joy-filled time to hear and understand the message Jesus came to share. The angels certainly wanted people to hear Jesus' message. They did everything they could to get people's attention. Who listened?
- Mary listened when the angel told her she would be the mother of Jesus. And she rejoiced.
- Joseph listened when the angel told him how to take care of Mary and the babe nestled in her womb. And he saved his family by understanding and following what he heard.
- The shepherds heard the angels fill the earth with their heavenly song. They listened to the angels tell them to go see the babe in the manger who would bring light to the world. And they shared the news with others.
When they listened, Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds were changed; they were inspired to cherish, protect, share, and praise God.
Jesus wanted people to listen to the message, too: "Whoever has ears, let them hear" (Matt 13:9 NIV). He repeated this concept over and over throughout his brief ministry. He even challenged his disciples when he said, "Don't you have eyes? Why can't you see? Don't you have ears? Why can't you hear? Don't you remember?" (Mark 8:18 CEB). In other words, why don't you pay attention and learn? Why don't you perceive with your heart?
Even though the disciples spent a great deal of time with Jesus, they didn't fully understand Jesus' message until they themselves felt the power of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentacost. Then, for 300 plus years, Jesus' disciples and their students obeyed his instructions: "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!" (Matt 10:8 NLT). They went out into the world and healed people of all types of diseases and problems. They fully heard—perceived, understood, in their hearts—his message.
What is Jesus' message?
God is Love.
God is Love.
God is Love.
All we need to do is listen to Jesus' life with our hearts to see the proof of this Love. The Gospels tell us that Jesus "had compassion" or he "was moved with compassion" again and again. His compassion enabled his healing work. He lived, taught, healed through Love.
What else but love could have moved Jesus to touch the untouchables, reach out to the outcasts and draw them in? What else but love could have led him to speak to women and children (something that was not to be done then!) and treat them well? He healed those who were making poor choices as well as those who were sick. He set people free from the assumptions, rules, social laws or norms that they let imprison them. He healed on the Sabbath. Jesus had compassion for those who were suffering, alone, low in life.
Jesus came to tell us that we are all God's loved children, and that God is happy with us. God is Love. All there is is Love. You are loved by God. I am loved by God. We are all loved by God. Love created us. Love can only create love. We are the absolute expression of Love—each one of us. No one is outside of God's love. All is Love. There is no more meaningful or powerful message that we could ever hear. What a reason to celebrate this Christmas and always!