Most of us can relate to that warm fuzzy feeling we have about being at home for the holidays. Home is where we are surrounded by those that we love and those who love us. It’s where you’re accepted unconditionally, and celebrated just for being you. It’s a place where the sheer joy of existing is tangible and hangs in the air like the pine scent of a freshly cut Christmas tree. Home is a delightful place, and the atmosphere of home feels like it just reaches around you and gives you a big hug.
Wherever the holiday gathering takes place, there is wonderful smells of delicious foods you only indulge in once a year, prepared lovingly for the expressed delight of those who will savor every morsel. Twinkling lights and red ribbons, pine wreaths and mistletoe, Christmas trees and bright centerpieces adorned with candles – all of these and more add to the magic of being home for the holidays.
Those feelings of home can come from people who don’t even know Jesus – but when you do know Jesus, they are magnified by the knowledge you have that your eternal home is even more wonderful – even more magnificent! Can you imagine it? Living eternally in an environment that surpasses any delightful or wonderful thing we have here on this earth – that’s the power of the promises of heaven!
Heaven is so wonderful that the Bible tells us it’s hard to imagine:
1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him…”
Yet we are given a glimpse into what our eternal home will be like:
Revelation 22:1-5 ESV Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
Jesus called heaven “paradise” in Luke 23:43: And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
The best thing about heaven for some is described in Revelation 21:4: He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
I love Christmas and always have. I’ve always made it my mission to be extravagant with gift giving and preparing a delightful atmosphere for others to enjoy the season – after all, we are celebrating our Lord’s birthday – the One Who has made it His mission to prepare heaven for us. Until the time that we can be with our Lord in heaven, this earth will have to do. So, we’ll do the best we can to create a little heaven on earth!
Christmastime is especially important for those who are in military service, away at school, or otherwise absent from those they love. Let’s remember them in prayer. It’s time to remember all those who cannot be at home, or because of their unfortunate circumstances, have never experienced the feelings most of us have at Christmas. It’s a time to remember those less fortunate who cannot afford to lavish gifts on others or even have a good Christmas meal.
Part of our ministry here at Morningside is to reach out to our community and love on them with lavish gift giving. We love this event more than any other all year through. When you love on people, they open their hearts to what it is that you are all about, and that gives us the opportunity to tell them about our wonderful Jesus Who gave us the best gift ever – a heavenly gift of eternal life
Reaching out with a loving hug at Christmas to our community is our pleasure! Our hope is that through our giving, we will see the Light of Jesus become a reality in the lives of those who don’t yet know Him. That’s what we are up to this week at Morningside – doing our best to create a little “home for the holidays” joy right here in Blue Eye.