I would like to share my personal feelings about Jesus. This is one of those times when I will either soar with the eagles or drag myself through the mud. We have all had times in our lives when we have felt or experienced things that are beyond our abilities to convey to another human in words or in deed. These moments in our lives remain deeply private and occupy a place of tender feelings that we guard as that which is too sacred to be hoisted about in public. It is actually a good thing we can not put them into words for this very reason. We might be tempted in a moment of weakness to cast our “pearls before swine.”
Please forgive me for attempting to dig into my holiest of holies and make an attempt to share with you at this time of Christmas, some thoughts about what Jesus means to this Christian. Like I said, I will either soar with the eagles or drag myself through the mud, but here goes. Fortunately, I trust you with my “pearls.”
When I hear the carols being sung and try to figure out for the nine thousandth time what a “round yon virgin” is, I notice that there is a little flame of peace and comfort burning in my heart in the background of the tinsel and festivities. Perhaps that is why Christmas music is my go-to category when I feel down or sad. There is an underlying sacredness about the melodies and the words that draw me in.
As I thought today about the man called Jesus, my first round of thoughts were all on the surface. We sometimes bandy about his name with the same casualness that someone would talk of Homer Simpson. That thought made me want to gag. So what makes Christ so special to me? Where do I even begin?
First I need to try to find some perspective. Jesus, as he is known from his time on earth created the universe in which I live. All the beauties and wonders I see in the world and space around me are the result of his hard work. They demonstrate in all their variety and detail his appreciation for beauty, humor, and love for me. I am sure he could have created this world to look like a prison and we would not have known the difference, but he did not. I saw a photo of a mite the other day that is so small the human eye cannot see it. It looks like a hairless bear with one orifice in the middle of its face. This little creature can survive eight years without water. That is right. It is too small to be seen with the naked eye, but it can survive eight years without water. And that is only one of all the amazing creatures we have cataloged. Many of his creations we destroyed before we were even aware of how wonderful they were.
The planets move in cycles and are constantly being recreated under his direction. The whole solar system is positioned so perfectly that the earth sits in exactly the right place to make our lives comfortable and healthy. That balance was not struck by chance. That is a gift to each and every one of us.
When I feel a hunger and need deep within my soul for that which this world cannot give me, I have but to go and open the scriptures and feast upon the words, stories, lessons, and spirit in those pages. But it doesn’t stop there. I believe in a God who loves His children, and has commanded them to come and gain strength by spending time with Him on their knees. When I pray to my Father in Heaven I do so with faith that my prayers will be answered, that I will be led each day to do that which will bless the lives of others, just as Jesus blessed the lives of others. I pray in Jesus’s holy name. I call upon God, my Father with the faith that Jesus is there petitioning our Father to have my prayers answered and my life led by the Holy Spirit. Because of Christ’s personal worthiness before God, I have a hope of forgiveness in this life and ultimate salvation after this life.
God’s universal love
Christ loves all of God’s children with a perfection that caused him to suffer beyond my ability to imagine the pain and degradation he had to endure. But just because he loves us all equally, that doesn’t lessen the power of his love for me as a weak and humble sinner. He would have suffered all that he did all over again, even if I was the only one being ransomed from my sins. His love is that complete. I am just as important in His eyes as anyone can be. I neither deserve it, nor have earned it, but I have His love just the same.
I live in a world where people are cold and can be heartless and cruel to each other. Sometimes I forget that the King of all creation is my friend of friends, my best support, and my source of personal strength. He leads me by the Spirit toward the day when he can walk me back into our Father’s presence, clean, whole, and free of all earthly stains.
This is my purpose in life, to learn to follow His example, and the Spirit he has sent into my life, to learn of His ways, and to become more like Him. By following his example I think less of myself and more of others. I learn to think in terms of mercy, not judgment. I learn to feel after the sinner, and forgive those who have done me wrong. It takes work, and lots of it. It takes constant practice, but there is joy in this process. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Of all his titles, that is my favorite. It is the peace that comes from worshiping God and following in the footsteps of God’s Son that has brought me all my greatest joy in this life.
At this season of the year, when we run from store to store, and the world ignores the reason for the season, I hope we will all be more aware of the fact that nothing has changed. Jesus is still our Lord, our Master, our King, and our Friend. He is the only one who can save us from ourselves, and is the only name under heaven by which we can be saved. May the little flame of peace and comfort Jesus has brought into my life burn bright, and bring joy into your life as well.