Full. This is a word we are going to use frequently this season! At least I am. It is the time of feasting. Last night we gathered safely for our high school Christmas party at First Assembly. We had pizza (a youth ministry staple), wings, soda, cider, and more desserts than we were able to eat. Everyone should have left full.
It is said the be the most wonderful time of the year. It’s the time for Christmas cookies, pies, fudge, more Turkey and dressing and perhaps even a holiday ham! Everyone around the table should end the day full.
We don’t leave events like these or meals at this time full only in body. We also leave full in spirit. A gathering with close family and friends, at this time of the year, makes us leave full in our hearts. Even if you choose to downsize your Christmas a bit this year, you can walk away full and overflowing with joy and love. Paul, in his letter to the church in Philippi said, “there were times I had a lot and times I have had little. I have learned the secret to being content. I can do ALL things through Christ.” (My paraphrase) Let's learn that secret this year!
The enemy would like to destroy everything in our lives right now. Especially these times that are meant for great joy! In John 10:10 it states that he would love to ‘steal, kill and destroy’ our lives. I’m thankful that God doesn’t leave us with that. He says that Jesus came to this earth that we might have life, and life to the...full! This is not just surviving, but rather thriving. Even during this year! Whether you are surrounded by all your loved ones or not this year, God promises that you can be full. You will have more than enough.
I love that about the God we serve. He gives us what we need, and often we have something leftover. Think of the boy's lunch. It was able to feed five-thousand people, with twelve baskets to spare. When God fills us, this is what happens. We leave full and overflowing, ready to give of what we have. This is what fullness does. Like a balloon, ready to pop. What's on the inside shines through for all to see.
There is a great passage of scripture in Galatians 4:4-5, "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons." I love this great Christmas passage. When the fullness of time had come. Think of the imagery here. Heaven, like the full balloon, is waiting in anticipation each and every day since the fall in the garden. It has grown with excitement until this moment in history. And then everything happened at once. The heavens burst open. Gabriel came with the message to Mary and Joseph. The star appeared in the sky. The angels sang like no choir had ever sung. The shepherds, full and overflowing themselves, went everywhere sharing the news of the newborn King. Mary and Joseph, in a lowly stable, deeming with pride and joy as they as they held the babe. God Himself, came down from heaven to redeem humankind!
How amazing is the Christmas story?! What's even more incredible to me, is that you and I get to participate in it all. We can be made full, through Christ, to overflowing. We can partake in "the fullness of time," by allowing God to be with us and use us, no matter the situation we find ourselves in. We can be so full of the fruits of the Spirit, that everywhere we go, we are spilling over with the Love of Christ!
As we fill ourselves with the great food of this great season, let's not neglect allowing God to fill us to overflowing with His Spirit as well. So all the world may know that Jesus has come, so that we may have life. And that very life to the full!