“WHAT IF CHRISTMAS, THE GRINCH THOUGHT, DOESN’T COME FROM A STORE. WHAT IF CHRISTMAS, PERHAPS, MEANS A LITTLE BIT MORE?”

Many cartoon characters are created to represent real-life attitudes and personalities. I just had a fresh revelation that the Grinch who stole Christmas is not an evil-eyed, green goblin living in a cave above the town of Whoville.  Why, he could live anywhere. Any ol’ Who will do.

The Grinch could live in me.  He could live in you. He lives in any-who who adopts the spirit of Grinch-ness, and he thereby steals Christmas from that Who and Who’s family.

                  In many families there is an undercurrent of something that disturbs the peace at Christmas time. We gather for dinner, in “Christmas-snazzy” outfits, boots and sweaters, to share appetizers, seasonal spiced hot drinks, and an elegant meal. We hand out family gifts, with best choices for nieces and nephews, but there can be a tinge of sadness in some hearts. There can be a subtext to this joyful context. The unhappy subtext is written in the language of unforgiveness. One family member, say, has been offended by another at some point in this past year or years earlier, and there is resentment. Resentment has grown into contempt, and that bitterness now defiles other family members (Heb 12:15).

         Wouldn’t it be miraculous if one person reached out to the other and broke the silent stand-off? Wouldn’t it be a blessed Christmas if the offender owned his/her own offensive action from the past, and approached the other to ask for forgiveness? Wouldn’t it be a most-wonderful time of the year if the offended person went ahead and, without the other person’s apology, offered up the gifts of forgiveness and peace, to move the relationship toward healing?

         It would be miraculous!

         Forgiveness is a miracle-work of God in a person’s heart. Deep forgiveness from deep pain usually only comes after the miraculous grace-work of God has healed the heart of the wounded person.

         This is possible because of Emmanuel. Remember a couple of week’s back my blog was about Emmanuel; that God-with-Us for a moment on the cross became God-Forsaken? On the cross the Lord Jesus cried out as The Father had to turn His face away from the sight of His Son hanging on the cross bearing our sins. But just before this, Emmanuel said from the cross, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” (Lu 23:34) Who would’ve expected that?

         The God-With-Us is the same God who said, “Father, forgive them.” Emmanuel forgave His murderers without their apology. Their sin —killing an innocent man— was at that moment being borne by Him Whom they were murdering!

         Emmanuel is The Forgiver of the Universe. God-With-Us is the amazing, miracle Forgiver who is now our life (Col 3:4a). He lives in us, in our spirit. God-With-Us has risen from the dead to now be God-In-Us.

         Since we are spirit-beings, spirit is our nature. His Life is our new nature. We, too, are forgivers then, by nature. It is now our nature to forgive others. We have the Life of The Forgiver as our life, so that we can even forgive without our offender’s apology.  Imagine that!

         The Eternal Forgiver of the Universe now lives in you.  Wouldn’t it be a most wonderful time of the year if you forgave people who weren’t expecting it?

         The Great Gift Giver lives in you, so BE YOUR TRUE SELF and give His gift to others this Christmas.

         Then you will experience and express the power of having been changed in your spirit, changed at the level of your nature, the level of Identity.

        

-Carter

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