A Christmas Invitation

It’s been a year where the next big news story quickly overshadowed the last, so much that late in the year the internet has filled with memes reminding us of major events which seem already forgotten. Through quick and frequent change, I’ve felt an increasing need for a place of stability and rest, and it’s clear I’m not alone. Everyone’s looking for these things in different places and many ways.

As I navigated 2018, that kind of rest wasn’t found in entertainment, though we thoroughly enjoyed our share of concerts and such. It definitely was not found in politics, though I do appreciate that right to vote. (And the end of the endless advertising... Who’s with me?) It wasn’t in media (social or otherwise), or the gym, or social gatherings, though there was opportunity to enjoy all those. It wasn’t even found in my own house, though I am thankful for a place to call home.

But when the Christmas tunes started rolling out this season, I found myself latching onto the words of the hymn above. Familiar words for me now rang with new hope and invitation.

Those words certainly remind us of what’s celebrated at Christmas by looking back to Jesus’ birth. As we’re told, “...when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4–5) From birth to death to resurrection, everything Jesus did was providing His people the way to be free from our fears and sins (“sin” meaning all the ways we ignore God and His law) so we can truly know God and be made part of His family.

But the hymn also points ahead. As we trust Him for what He’s already done we can look forward to the next truly big story, the day Jesus will return. “...so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” (Hebrews 9:28) His first appearance now makes way for His second, giving hope for a world He will make right again.

So whether looking back in celebration or forward with anticipation, the song expresses an invitation for Jesus to “come.” But what’s mind blowing is when He invites us to come to Him. His common invitation is simply, “Follow me.” He persists in inviting with, “Come to me... I will give you rest.” Jesus Himself is that stable place of rest we fail to find anywhere else.

This Christmastime, I invite you to consider who Jesus is and to hear His invitation to you.

All the best to you this holiday season!

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