by Deacon Dana Nearmyer
For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them (Eph 2:10).
Jesus willed himself to leave the throne of heaven to be born in a dusty manger because we are his handiwork, and he loves us more than anyone has ever loved us. In Christ, we are loved, awaited and forgiven.
This caused the woman at the well, the blind man at the gate and each of us to go away rejoicing when we knew that Jesus Christ cherished us, though yet sinners. This is our freedom story. This is the freedom story for those that we love.
As we spend time with family and friends over these sacred days, how do you show your joy and freedom of living in Christ? People are looking for peace, refuge and meaning in their lives. It looks a bit different for everyone, but behind it all is relationship with Jesus Christ.
Do you, like the moon, reflect the sun, and light up the night with the love and reflection of Jesus? People notice light in darkness. People’s daily grind can get pretty dark; Jesus reflecting off of you will be noticed by many, even those in your home.
To reflect the light of Christ, we line up ourselves with him. We line up with his words and actions, by listening to him personally. He is alive; he wants to have deep, deep dialogues with each of us. He wants us to offer unvarnished confession, offer repentance and fill up on his life-giving words, through prayer and absorbing Scripture. He wants to fill us with hope and recognition of our true freedom, here and in eternity.
The sacraments all lead us to give Jesus our heart, body, mind and soul, and we should frequently remind ourselves who is in charge by inviting Jesus into the deepest corners of our lives, out loud, with our lips. Our joy and peace are caused by one source: relationship with Jesus.
That joy and freedom are available for all, like presents under the tree, with your loved one’s names on the tags. Listen long and deeply to friends and family, like Christ listens to you. Shine out the joy in your heart, and when people ask where it comes from, ask questions that lead them to unwrapping the gift of freedom and joy of knowing Jesus.
Again remember that Jesus willed himself to leave the throne of heaven to be born in a dusty manger because we are his handiwork, and he loves us more than anyone has ever loved us.
Check out the website at: archkck.org/enflame to learn more about how to experience and share peace and freedom.