And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.Luke 2:1 (KJV)
Back when my children were relatively tiny people, my favorite Bible verse was actually just the phrase “and it came to pass.”
You might laugh, but during that season of my life those five small words felt like a balm to my weary soul. One thing moms of young children know is while the various stages and phases of infant and toddler life may feel long and arduous, they all eventually come to an end.
So, when Joel refused to eat anything other than peanut butter fold overs for the entire month of June or the winter that Nathan threw a tantrum whenever I put socks and shoes on his little feet or the time when sweet baby Julia went on a sleep strike for three weeks straight, I clung tightly to the wisdom found in that simple phrase because somehow just knowing it would eventually end made my tired spirit feel encouraged to just keep going.
And it came to pass …
Are you as ready for the new year as I am?
Normally, I love everything about New Year’s Eve. After all, it’s the day Jon and I got married, so we always have lots of great things to celebrate at our house.
But this year, I am extra excited. After all, 2020 has been a long and arduous year with its pandemic, murder hornets and locust swarms, Australian bushfires and American wildfires, rioting in the streets, racial tensions, the presidential election from you know where … not to mention, the death of Alex Trebek.
Thank goodness a year can only last twelve months! Can I get an amen?
Yet, as hopeful as I am for all the good that 2021 might bring our way, I’m also mindful that hope and peace and joy are not guarantees for the new year. If we are expecting 2021 to bring us only good news, then we are simply setting ourselves up for a big disappointment.
Hope isn’t found in the promises of good health.
Peace isn’t found in our elected leaders.
The state of the economy, the security of our jobs, and the amount of money in our bank accounts can never give us real or lasting joy.
Temporary circumstances cannot ever provide anything other than temporary feelings. Unfortunately, all things on this earth are temporary.
Everything, that is, except for Jesus Christ and all that belongs to Him.
The great news is that you can belong to Jesus, too.
If you already belong to Jesus, then you already understand that the very best gift of Christmas is His presence in your heart.
If you don’t belong to Jesus or aren’t sure, then I’d love to tell you more about how you can. It’s as simple as A-B-C … Admitting you are a sinner; Believing Jesus lived a perfect life, took the punishment for your sins through His death on the cross, and rose victoriously back to life; Confessing that He is Lord of all and surrendering to living your life by following Him. Trust me … doing this will be the very best Christmas present you could ever give yourself!
“But this Christmas know that He came for you. As broken and messed up as your year may have been, His love is infinitely greater. He is able. Able to restore joy, bring peace and truly bless your Christmas with the best gift of all – His presence.”Susan Narjala, Making Space: An Advent Devotional
Wishing you all the very merriest of Christmases and the most joyous of new years!