Sunday, December 18, 2011

100 Verses - Week 15 - Easter

Christmas is just a week away. We are about to head into one of the busiest weeks of the year. If you are like me, there is still shopping for gifts to be done, packages will need to be wrapped. I have a special meal to plan, and all the shopping and preparation to do as well. I am grateful that the calendar is somewhat open, the kids' Christmas program is behind us, and our church Growth Groups are on a break, so evenings are open, but there is still much to be done. And of course we want to spend time together enjoying family, and most of all remembering the Reason for the Season, celebrating Jesus.

For those of you participating in our 100 Verse Challenge, you'll be relieved to know that we only have one verse this week. So in the midst of the busyness, the Challenge might be a little easier, only one verse to meditate on and commit to memory.

When I got up this morning and turned to the new chapter in 100 Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart to see what verse we would be learning, I was kind of excited to see the verse we're learning could actually be considered an Easter verse. Why would I be excited about an Easter verse in the week leading up to Christmas, you might ask? The answer is simple, because without Easter, Christmas doesn't really mean much at all.

Without Easter the Christmas story is just a tale about a young woman giving birth in a difficult situation. If it were not for Easter, the Angels would have had nothing to proclaim, the shepherds would not have been drawn to the stable and the wise men would have had no reason to come and worship. Without Easter, Christmas isn't anything special at all.

Easter is the reason the Baby was born. Easter is the reason Jesus came. He came to give His life as a sacrifice for our sins, and on Easter morning when He rose again, Christmas became a day that mattered more than anyone could have fully realized as the Baby was laid in the manger that night. We never would have realized the Gift we were all given that night from the Father of Lights.

Here is our verse for memorizing this week:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
1 Peter 1:3

One thing it does not look like I will be getting to do this week is sing. I woke up yesterday morning with almost no voice, and now it's pretty much gone. A good hoarse whisper is about the best I've got. This morning at church I listened as Christmas carols were sung. They sang my favorite, "Joy to the World."

I would like to leave you with one final thought with the words to this beautiful song:

Joy to the world
the Lord has come.
Let earth receive her King.
Let every heart prepare Him room.

Think about our verse this week, and take heed to the invitation in this song. Prepare your heart to receive the Gift your Heavenly Father gave you on Christmas- a Savior who came to save your soul by giving His life as a sacrifice for you, and conquering death that you might have eternal life. Jesus is indeed the Reason for the season, and if you know that, then your Christmas will surely be Joy-filled, for you have much to celebrate!

Merry CHRISTmas!!!