26 Question 1

Many people get depressed around the Christmas season.  I suppose there are many reasons for this.  We often think of loved ones that are no longer with us and we seem to particularly miss them during the holidays.  Some have no families to be with and get depressed if they have to be alone.  Sometimes we simply have expectations for this time of year that are unreasonable and we are saddened when our expectations aren’t met.

Perhaps the answer to your depression can be found in just thinking about what Christmas is really all about.  It is the one time of the year when the whole world is reminded that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” as we read in John 3:16.  The origins and customs of the holiday may not be so great, but I always enjoy thinking about the fact the world’s attention is on Christ.  You can’t even say Christmas without saying Christ.  I suggest you spend some time thinking about the wonderful love of God.  God loves us all so much that he sent His only begotten son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins.

Although He is the very son of God, Jesus was born in poverty to a young couple, Mary and Joseph.  Let’s read Matthew 1:18-25, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.  Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.  Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”

Notice how that it’s said that the angel of the Lord told Joseph that he should name him Jesus, but it also says ‘they’ or ‘the world’ shall call him Emmanuel.  Jesus is a Greek name that means ‘God is salvation’, and of course, Emmanuel means ‘God with us.’  So, we find that in the birth of the Lord Jesus that God is with us and God is salvation.  What else is God?  1 John 4:8 and 4:16 both tell us that, “God is love.”  2 Chronicles 30:9 says, “God is gracious and merciful…”  Psalms 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  1 Corinthians 1:9 says, “God is faithful…”   2 Corinthians 1:18 says, “God is true…”  We could go on and on.  I think we can safely say that God is all we need.  He loves each one of us so very much.  This Christmas season, I encourage you to spend time reading and thinking about the Lord Jesus Christ.  How he was born, how he lived, how he died, and how he rose again from the dead.  As many celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, let’s also think about why he was born.  He was born for a particular purpose.  He was born so that he could die.  God cannot die, so the Lord Jesus took on flesh and blood so that He could die as a sacrifice for our sins.

We read in Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”  I hope you know the Lord as your savior so that you have reason to be joyous during the Christmas season…and every season.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”  I hope you can say that.  I hope you have been crucified with Christ by accepting Him as your savior.  If so, you can say along with Paul, that the Lord loves you and gave himself for you.