Contemplating Christmas

Lord, You are the gift and the Giver of all good gifts. There is no greater gift - no greater love.  We look to You, bow to You and adore You with all the angels in heaven and those who have gone before.
Lord, You are the gift and the Giver of all good gifts. There is no greater gift – no greater love. We look to You, bow to You and adore You with all the angels in heaven and those who have gone before.

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2012

Why do we embrace the season and idea of Christmas like we do, decorating, hosting gathering, wrapping gifts and seeking to pour out love on others?  What is it our spirits yearn for as this time of year approaches?  The surface story prompting the celebration is simple and not especially beautiful.  A husband and wife are mandated by an unfriendly and oppressive government forcibly occupying their land, to make a journey to be counted. This meant the man – a carpenter by trade and by no means wealthy (probably living on income generated project by project) – will not be able to work and earn for the duration of the mandated journey.  And the woman is heavy with child in the thick of the discomfort and weariness of the final trimester of pregnancy.

They arrive after days of travel at their prescribed destination, but all the places where travelers could stay are full.  His wife is now in labor. The birth of the child is imminent.  With no clean place to stay or midwife to assist, she gives birth to her son among the filth of a completely unsanitary environment within a stable or cave (dependent upon the account).  Without anything with her to provide for Him, but swaddling clothes, she lays Him in an animal feed trough as a make-shift crib. There is nothing romantic about the Savior of the world being born according to God’s perfect plan into poverty and lack, unnoticed by the majority of those for whom He left His heavenly throne.

No, the beauty of Christmas is not the surface story.  The magnificence and appeal of Christmas is the hope which this story represents.  This baby is Jesus, whose name means God saves. This baby is Jesus, prophesied as the coming Messiah to deliver and save His people. 

Few even knew He was born, yet He was this One, whom God sent.  And as became apparent after His heinous death (which in the moment seemed to wipe out any hope of Him fulfilling what He came to do), we learned His destiny was different than we thought and more wonderful than anyone could have imagined.  Jesus did not leave his eternal throne in heaven to be born, live and die as a criminal though innocent to free one nation on earth from oppression of another, leaving us condemned to a difficult existence here which would end in eternal death and continued separation from God.  Jesus humbled Himself, left His throne, gave up His will for the will of the Father, obeyed letting the people less than He execute Him, so that all those from every nation who so chose could be free from the curse of eternal separation from God and be reunited into His heavenly presence forever.

We need to pause, contemplate and grasp this for a moment. The God who created the universe, who decided how all should be, loves us so much He created us to be with Him.  Even after our ancestors set the tone by rejecting Him and choosing their own way, His love prevails. Through Jesus He made a way for us to be reunited into His goodness.  Forever.

Each of us was born with a need to be valued and loved. God values us and loves us perfectly, completely, infinitely and unconditionally.  The question is whether we will choose to love Him back.  Because Jesus humbled himself and walked out the not-easy life the Father laid out before Him (which did not lead to earthly riches, power or fame, but led to the cross, humiliation, rejection, condemnation, mocking and scorning by the world’s people and leaders, we have the hope of an eternity in His presence so good and fulfilling it defies description utilizing mere human forms of expression.

This is the joy of Christmas – the prostrate thanksgiving to God in the increasing awareness that He loves us this much. The spirit of Christmas attempts to re-create this sacrificial giving of self for the sake of others through gifts, hospitality and festive celebrations. Yet, we cannot out-give the Giver. 

Oh, come!  Let us adore Him!

Eagles Nest Foundation , Inc.
www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

NOTE from Elizabeth: Please consider acquiring CHRISTMAS WORSHIP for your own music collection. Jesus wants to be worshipped at all times. Will you consider worshipping with me?  A few years ago, the Lord whispered to my heart that He wanted to be worshipped at Christmas and He showed me how many of the songs we sing beautifully tell the story of His birth and why He came, but very few actually worship Him during this festive season.  As a result, CHRISTMAS WORSHIP was created.  It is a unique worship CD which includes includes 7 new, original Christmas worship songs, which the Lord had me compose specifically for this project. It can be purchased at www.holyspiritpress.org or amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Worship-Elizabeth-Fulgaro/dp/B004D9931G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1320069144&sr=8-2 or itunes or CDbaby.com http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/elizabethfulgaro3.   The entire songs, “Not My Will But Yours”, “Heaven’s King” and “We Seek You” can be listened to on my FaceBook Musicians page in the MusicStore at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elizabeth-Fulgaro/14919192923?ref=ts&sk=app_155326481208883 “You Came to Set Us Free” is on Youtube at:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJemQQSTcyk  (Music clips for all songs are available at CD Baby or amazon.com links). May God receive the honor and worship He is due this Christmas season and throughout the coming year!

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist. For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org Worship music with audio clips are available at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro on itunes and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elizabeth-Fulgaro/14919192923?ref=ts&fref=ts where Elizabeth also posts worshipful prayers and teaches how to turn worry into worship for more of God’s power in our everyday lives.

Fulgaro is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way.

Through Eagles Nest Foundation which Elizabeth founded in 2007 she provides spiritual support & encouragement to military and military families as well as those in physical and emotional battles (such as cancer, long-term illness) as well as those grieving a loss. Email info@eaglesnestfoundation.org or visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org for more information.

Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible. Thank you for your prayers and support!

Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

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