I celebrate the day...

Though my heart is a flurry of excitement with the idea that I may have my first White Christmas tomorrow, that is not the reason I'm celebrating this Christmas season. I also can't wait to give my mom the present I've had in mind for a couple months now, but that's also not why I celebrate. Nor is it that I totally know I'm going to get this great dress (I didn't peek... I was there when my mom bought it), but again- I have a completely different reason for my joy tonight. That joy is totally all Christ. But when I look at the fact that He was born with a purpose- to die on a Cross- it's kind of depressing. My mom told me about a kid in one of the sunday school classes at her church. They were telling the Christmas story in sunday school, and while everyone else was happy, he raised his hand to ask:
"Wait... is that the same Jesus who dies on a cross?"
His teacher replied that yes, indeed it was. And with a sad look on his face, he raised his hand to ask another:
"But... why would God do that? Why did He have to make His son die?"

It's a question that perplexes me to this day. Why us, God? What makes us worthy? Nothing.
But in it all, God gets the glory that He deserves. Because Christ was born in a stable and died on a cross, God was glorified above all.

So why do I celebrate? Because Christ was born as a sacrifice for my sins. Because He died, I live. I not only live the life I was given when born of my parents- but I live a life that has been bought with his blood and is being sanctified. I can walk with Christ personally because He was born fully God and fully man. And above all, because God is glorified in the birth of a baby, so pure, by a virgin named Mary, in a humble stable in Bethlehem.

One of my favorite Christmas songs:

"When the babe was born.
In a manger on the hay.
God saw a veil torn.
He saw Good Friday.
He was born to die.

Gold laid before the Christ.
Incense, His presence is sweet.
Myrrh to signify victory over death's sting.
He was born to die.

It came in a dream.
To Joseph late one night.
That Herod sought the King.
But could not take His life.
He was born to die.

He said, "You won't take my life.
You won't take my life.
You won't take my life...
I lay it down."

We came here today
to celebrate His birth.
But let us not forget
why Jesus came to earth.
He was born to die."

- Thanks, Shane and Shane.


Setting My Crate On Fire

Chenn yo kase koun ya mwen lib,
Jezi so vele det mwen peye!
Ak anpil fos gras li renye-
La mous san fin, gras infini.

Dave Edwards told a story the other night about Henry Box Brown: A slave who shipped himself in a box to an abolitionist office in the north so that he would be free. For 27 hours days he was trapped in a small wooden crate, handled without care because that was the price of his freedom.
He went on to discuss how we ourselves were once slaves to sin- confined in our small wooden crate। However, Christ paid for us to be set free. With His blood, His death, He opened the lid on that crate and offered us a helping hand out of it.
We are no longer slaves to sin, but some of us still chill in our box. Others have been let out... but, like I have so often, hold on to that box, or move close to it, so we can climb back just in case we need to.

But, as Dave posed, would Henry Box Brown ever have gotten back in his box? No way. Not a chance. He was set FREE- so why would he choose to hold on to the bondage that held him in?

It was a story I needed to hear. I am so guilty of holding on to my crate that Christ let me out of. Little things that I know I need to let go of in order to be fully bonded to the Lord and not be held under sin. But I'm working to not only run from that box, but I'm lighting a match to set it on fire. This box can not and should not contain me- for it is not my master.

What's in your box? And why are you still holding on to it?
Set it on fire with me.

Romans 6.1-14
"What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace."