Christmas Eve, 2004, my family and I were at our third church related event. My children used to lament being the children of two Christian Counselors, now they know the woes of being the children of two ministers whom God called to two different churches. It was a lot of church, but that is what made the message of Christmas more poignant to me.
This day of three church-related events was not the most church I enjoyed thisChristmas season. There were special Christmas concerts at school and each churchthat we juggled to attend. What I am hoping to convey to you is the idea thatI had been exposed to the Christmas story and the traditional Christmas passagesnot just on Christmas Eve, but during the entire Christmas season.
So it was me who was most surprised of all to hear the message of Christmas theway I did in my last Christmas service of 2004. The passage being read was Isaiah9. It’s my favorite part of Handel’s Messiah. For to us a childis born, to us a son is given. I'm starting to sing it now.
Though I love that passage, I guess I have tuned out the last phrase of Isaiah9:7. I never heard it like I heard it that Christmas Eve. The zeal of theLord Almighty will accomplish this. Then it hit me: this is the messageof Christmas. It is God’s zeal for us that made Christmas happen at all. Christmasis all about the actions of a zealous God. He loved us so much that Hemade Christmas happen. As I sat in the pew I was revisited by the wonder of God’sincredible love for me.
It was an amazing discovery that I had been missing the entire Christmas season.I had considered the delight of my children in opening their gifts (well, notas much delight now that they are teenagers, but happiness at least). I'd thoughtabout my own anticipation regarding Christmas—all the shopping, bakingand decorating that I had offered to bring Christmas cheer to my family. I evencomplimented my husband on more than one occasion for his great attitude in puttingup lights to share cheer with our neighbors and helping me in the above tasks. WhatI had not considered was the zeal of the Lord that made Christmas happen. Godis the creative force behind the creation of every good work in this world. Hispresence in the world has never been absent. His zeal for us causes Him to remaindeeply involved in all the happenings of this world.
It is indeed the zeal of the Lord Almighty that has brought me into an eternalrelationship with Him through the birth, death and resurrection of His Son. I'mdelighted to be the object of His zeal.
Do you know how much zeal the Lord holds for you? It’s an awesomethought!