12.11.2007

Christmas letter '07: to see with new eyes

"Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." -Colossians 3:2

"One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see." -A blind man healed by Jesus, John 9:25a

Since I very much enjoyed writing special letters for Resurrection Day this year, I've been looking forward to the idea of writing something for Christmas. But what to write? I spent months thinking of all the possibilities, but decided to wait and see how the Lord would lead as the year went on.

Looking back, I've had plenty to consider. For some reason, I'd been looking forward to this year. And what a crazy year it's been! From the excitement of celebrating a decade as a Christian, and sharing that with many of you, to the near depression which has come with a number of close friends moving away, and all points in between. It's been a series of peaks and valleys. And in reviewing all this and considering what I might write, I just kept coming back to one word: Perspective.

Perhaps one could sum up every year with that word, but I truly don't believe this would have been my first choice in years past. This is a perspective which has developed and grown as I've navigated the mountains and trenches of the last ten years. It's the same perspective that brought me through those valleys this summer. It's seeing the world with a new set of eyes—that is, seeing life from an eternal perspective.

I want now, more than ever, to see life's events from God's point of view, knowing that there is no such thing as "coincidence," but that He controls it all. I want to see people from God's point of view, realizing that no one is an "inconvenience," but that each person is a sensitive being created in His image. I want to keep my focus on the Lord, to see how He works in my life each day even in the "little" things, to look out for what He has next for me, to glorify Him and to be able to say in the end, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4:7)

The celebration of Christmas ought to be all about eternal perspective. Unfortunately, that tends to get lost for us in the Western world, buried in all our gadgets, busyness and even "political correctness." But if we glance past the twinkling lights, perhaps we can still envision a brightly lit star. If we look past the retailers, we can still see a baby in a manger. But so much more than just a baby. The very One who created the entire universe. The One sent to die for the sins of all who believe in Him, to give them eternal life as God's Word states in John 3:16. Someone so small is Someone so Tremendous. Keeping that reality in focus in spite of everything else, that too is eternal perspective—God's perspective.

I pray this Christmas season brings all this into focus for you more clearly than ever. The world looks so very different through new eyes, especially when one can see that there is hope—a hope found only in Christ Jesus.

Merry Christmas!

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