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Wyatt Emmerich: This Christmas let's embrace joy, not worry

 

Wyatt Emmerich

 

 

We humans like to worry. It's in our nature. 

 

Here's what Jesus said about worrying: 

 

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 

 

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you -- you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." 

 

So are we now ready to get into the Christmas spirit? Who among us doesn't smile and laugh when we are worry free? So let's quit worrying and make these next few days really special. 

 

Faith is prayer to God. Worry is prayer to the Devil. When we worry, it's because our faith is weakening and we don't trust God's plan for our lives. 

 

Look around you? Did you create all this through your anxiety and worry? I think not. This is all a gift from God. And what a perfect gift it is. Every atom, every subatomic particle is finely tuned beyond our imagination. 

 

The balance of the earth on its axis, the rotation of the earth around the sun, the changing of the seasons, it's a miracle beyond miracles. 

 

Even when Jesus was performing miracles on a daily basis, his disciples still disbelieved. They still worried about what came next. In Matthew 16, a frustrated Jesus had to remind them: 

 

"At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn't brought any bread. Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, 'You have so little faith! Why are you arguing with each other about having no bread? Don't you understand even yet? Don't you remember the 5,000 I fed with five loaves, and the baskets of leftovers you picked up? Or the 4,000 I fed with seven loaves, and the large baskets of leftovers you picked up?' " 

 

You see, we just can't help but worry and be afraid. We just can't seem to relax and enjoy the blessings of the Garden of Eden. We want more. We want to be God. It's the nature of sin. 

 

I have always believed that God should cut us some slack. It's hard to live in the flesh. We get cold, hungry, angry, tired, lustful, greedy. He created us! Meanwhile, God is, well, God. He can do anything -- create the universe, obtain infinite knowledge, defeat evil. Sin is not even a consideration. 

 

Yet I can understand why he would just want to wipe us away and start over, something he did a time or two. 

 

But God came up with another plan. Through his son, he took on flesh. And this act of becoming both man and God allowed mankind and God to become reconciled. It was a brilliant, bold, creative solution to an overwhelming problem. But with God, nothing is impossible. 

 

I'm not sure why our savior had to suffer the worst possible outcome to save us. It brings tears to my eyes. But when I witness human tragedy, which is everywhere around us, I think of the tragedy of the crucifixion and how from this terrible tragedy came the greatest gift of all time -- the salvation of man. That is the gift of Christmas. 

 

So let us all make a concerted effort to lay the worrying aside and remember the great victory. It should fill us with joy. It should fill us with the Christmas spirit. 

 

Some people criticize all the lights and hoopla and gift giving. I disagree. All of that is just an expression of happiness and joy and love. 

 

And from all this came another gift: The fruits of the Holy Spirit -- love, peace, joy, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, patience and self control. These are now ours. All it takes is faith. Nothing more than that. You only have to believe. 

 

Ah, yes, belief. Does that ring a bell? The children believe. They know Santa will be bearing gifts on Christmas Day, even though they may have been naughty a time or two. 

 

And so it is with us adults. We can enjoy riches far beyond any child's toy. We just have to believe. Believe in all the prophecies which came so perfectly to fruition. Believe in his magnificent resurrection - the same beautiful resurrection that awaits us all. 

 

Wyatt Emmerich is the editor and publisher of The Northside Sun, a weekly newspaper in Jackson. He can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]

 

 

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