Christmas brings a much-needed reminder: Perspective is essential.
Perspective keeps us from letting the wrong things consume us . . . and there are times that happens for us all. History reveals countless examples. But none so great as the tunnel vision that happened in the first century.
Travel back with me to the Roman Empire—as vast as it is vicious, led from one Caesar to another. Some of them brilliant. Most cruel. All under the impression the world revolves around them. One, Octavian Augustus, decides to fill the Empire's coffers through taxation. So, he orders a census that requires everyone to return to and register at his hometown. Can't you just see how proud Caesar is?
But he knows nothing of a young couple making their way from Nazareth to Bethlehem. He thinks he's running the show, but he's a pawn in Jehovah's hand. For through Caesar's edict, the prophets' words come true.
In Bethlehem, in an unmarked animal enclosure, behind an obscure inn, Mary gives birth. When she and Joseph stare wonderingly into that baby's face, they're looking into the face of God. All the pomp and pride of Rome fades.
For a child is born to us . . .
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Caesar was nothing more than a piece of lint on the prophetic scroll. To this day at Christmastime, Jesus gets overlooked. Our hearts get distracted by trivial things like Santa and shopping, buying and wrapping . . . torn by real issues like terrorism and racial injustice, chronic illness and disaster.
This year, let God change your perspective as He takes you to Bethlehem and reminds you that nothing truly hinges on who rules what country or what devastation touches your heart. Your life, your joy, and your peace rest with the King of Kings—that baby, born millennia ago, heralded only by angels.
Christmas beckons us to the King who conquers every darkness. Our Savior. Immanuel, God with us—no matter what distracts or threatens us. This is the message we proclaim year-round, worldwide at Insight for Living Ministries.
From your neighbor's home to Syrian refugee camps, your generous donations help people receive and live with the perspective of the all-powerful, ever-gracious King.
This Christmas, will you give so weary hearts can rejoice in Him?
When you do, request Let Earth Receive Her King. This DVD featuring my narrations and stirring, classic Christmas songs performed by the Stonebriar Community Church Choir and Orchestra will help you usher in your King and keep the right perspective. If you've already given as a Monthly Companion, please call 1-800-246-2420 to request your copy of Let Earth Receive Her King.
Won't you bring others with you to that Bethlehem manger? Let's receive our King together!
Charles R. Swindoll