Tuesday, Third Week in Advent

Isaiah 53:4-6

4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
It was our sorrows that weighed him down.And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
A punishment for his own sins!
5 But he was pierced for our rebellion,  
Crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole. 
He was whipped so we could be healed.
6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.   
We have left God’s paths to follow our own. 
Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.

"Dear Lord Baby Jesus..."

Although I will admit it is a ridiculous movie, I love Talladega Nights. One of the best scenes involves Ricky Bobby saying a prayer at dinner. He sits with his family at a table laden with fast food and gives thanks for his success and the “bountiful harvest” before them. The funny thing, though, is that as he prays, he addresses Jesus as “tiny, infant Jesus” and later goes so far as to elaborate: “Dear eight pound, six ounce, newborn baby Jesus, in your golden, fleece diapers, with your curled-up, fat, balled-up little fists pawing at the air...”

While, yes, this is a bit odd and meant as humorous in the film, when I watched the movie recently, it struck me that Jesus was once a baby. It’s easy to forget sometimes how humbly our Lord and Savior came into this world. He didn’t come down from heaven in a chariot surrounded by fire; no fanfare announced his arrival. Jesus, the Son of God, the hope of all humanity, was born into this world in the most helpless of states.

This baby grew up into a man who was tortured, beaten, crucified—not because of anything He did, but because of us. He became completely human so that He could sacrifice Himself to save us from our sins. We need to remember that Jesus didn’t die for us so that we could continue to lead our mundane lives and become wrapped up in our lives here on earth—no! He died so that we can have real life through Him, and so we have the gift of being able to celebrate our lives in Christ before we even get into heaven. That’s what Christmas is about! Celebrate in the Lord because of what He has done for you.

Has becoming alive in Christ changed the way you live your life? If not, it may be time for you to let Him affect the way you live your life. Pray that God opens your heart to receive Him. Pray for peace with God and the joy that gives you the freedom to celebrate every day! This Christmas, while it’s easy to be fixated upon the presents and family time, make sure you set aside time for Jesus. After all, Christmas is the celebration of His birth and what it means for us!

--Katrina Keay '14