This is our first Christmas in West Africa which also makes it our first Christmas at the beach. Here and there are reminders of Christmas amidst the normal day to day comings and goings. My tree is decorated, and Christmas music is playing. Little by little it feels like Christmas.
Each morning the last two weeks, my students and I read the Advent readings from Good News for Great Joy put out by Desiring God. Most of our readings were from Hebrews. At first it seemed a funny place to be at Christmas time with all the readings about high priests and old and new covenants. Shouldn't we be talking about mangers and angels and shepherds?
Here is the main point: We have a High Priest who sat down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven. There he ministers in the heavenly Tabernacle, the true place of worship built by the Lord and not by human hands. (Heb 8:1 NLT)Christmas is a reminder that Jesus is the main point. The old covenant was a shadow of the new covenant Jesus brought. Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophesy made in the Garden of Eden. The old covenant gave us a yearning to be holy and showed us we couldn't make it on our own. Jesus' blood sealed the new covenant making it possible for the forgiveness of sins because of his sacrifice. The shadow became a reality. Jesus became a man. Jesus made a way for us to truly know God.
In all the distractions of Christmas, it is easy to forget that Jesus is the main point. May we celebrate today remembering that Jesus is the reason for the season.
Merry Christmas, TJ