a great day to remember the price Jesus paid with His birth.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 NIV
As Christians, we take this time during advent to celebrate the coming of Christ. We also look forward to the festive nature of the season, the exchanging of gifts, and spending time with family and friends.
It is right, and appropriate, that we be full of joy as we celebrate the birth of the One who came to provide us all with victory over death, and show us the path to grace, mercy, and forgiveness.
When I pray, I always ask God’s forgiveness for the many ways in which I have fallen short. I ask forgiveness for the sins of my words, my actions, and my thoughts. I am a sinner, as we all are, and I am very far from perfect, as we all are. I take comfort in knowing that when -and that definitely is when, and not if – I give in to temptation or fail to ask God for strength before giving in to temptation, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 NIV
I am not trying to rain on anyone’s parade here, or bring anyone down, but I do think it is necessary that we all temper our joy at the birth of our Lord and Savior with a reminder of the price He would pay for our forgiveness at the end of His time on earth.
As we all gather round to watch our favorite holiday movies (personally, I like the “Rudolph” one with the “Island of Misfit Toys” because sometimes that is exactly where I feel I am) I would suggest adding another to the list. I think we should all pause for some serious reflection and watch “The Passion of the Christ” for the vivid reminder of the sacrifice that was made, and the suffering that was endured, on our behalf.
I have posted the following image before because it is a powerful reminder to me of that suffering, and I pray it is for you as well. Make part of this joyous season serious and watch the movie again. Then hug those around you and thank God for the grace, mercy, and forgiveness we all have because he sent His only begotten Son to us to offer us salvation, and allowed Him to pay for that salvation in such a horrible way.
As for me, perhaps posting this picture above my desk will help me ask for forgiveness a lot less than I do.