All Eyes on Jesus

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.  Hebrews 12:2 (NLT)
One of my favorite days of the holiday season is the day we put up the Christmas decorations. This has always been a family event and now it includes my three beautiful granddaughters. This year, the oldest one wanted to be responsible for setting up the small nativity scene on my hearth. This set includes several shepherds, musicians, animals, angels and wise men along with Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus. In the past, I always kept Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus inside the small, open-faced building, while the rest of the figures stood outside around the structure. While the rest of us were busy decorating the tree and setting up the rest of our traditional family decorations, my granddaughter worked quietly and lovingly arranging the figures in the scene. When it came time to light the little bulb above the building, we could barely see it. She had put all the figures in front of the Baby Jesus, crowding close to Him, with their backs to the outside. When her daddy asked her why she crowded them all into the little building she answered, “They’re all adoring the Baby Jesus. He’s the most important part.”
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)
How right she was. Jesus IS the most important part. The birth of Jesus, God’s gift of His Son to us, is the most important part of the Christmas story. He is the reason we celebrate, the reason we pray, the reason we believe, the reason we hope. Maybe this has slipped your mind this season. Maybe you’re discouraged. Maybe there is fear and anxiety about the upcoming holiday. Maybe there is sadness that this Christmas will be so different from all the Christmases before. Maybe there are only thoughts of gifts and stockings and Grandma’s pumpkin pie. Maybe the grown-ups are too busy with their lists and their parties and their cooking and wrapping to remember that Jesus is the most important part of the season. Maybe you need to remind them. As you pray for your mom or your dad or Grandma and Grandpa or your aunt and uncle, remember that it is all because of Jesus. Jesus came to earth to serve as a bridge between us and God. He is the one who hears our prayers and serves as our advocate on high. He is the one who brings us peace when things seem to be spinning out of control. He is the one who gives us the strength to continue to walk this difficult road. He is the one who is the way, the truth and the light for those we pray for. He is the one who gives us hope. And He is faithful. Let’s turn all eyes on Jesus this season.
Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters, so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people.  Hebrews 2:17 (NLT)
God bless A Stander in Nebraska
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