Merry CHRISTmas! I hope you are reading this email on some brand new fancy electronic gadget gift you received. I also hope your Christmas day has brought you nothing but joyful memories filled with smiles, laughs, gifts, and of course lots and lots of cookies.
Last but certainly not least, I hope that the true meaning of Christmas hasn’t escaped you this year. Believe me I know it’s easy to lose sight of the real Christmas message amidst all the worldly ‘stuff’ we surround ourselves with.
While I definitely know that some stuff is cool—hey, I enjoy watching Jack Bauer kick butt on a big plasma HDTV as much as the next guy—I also know that all of the ‘stuff’ in the world can’t fill that void in our hearts…only one thing can: God.
During the Christmas season we concentrate so much on the birth of the baby that sometimes we lose sight of the true message of Christmas. It’s not that He was born that makes Him remarkable. What’s remarkable—and the most powerful thing that you could possibly imagine—is that He died… and He died for you. If the end of that baby’s life didn’t end the way it did we would not know anything about this baby.
My mother committed suicide when I was 13 and for so many years I tried to fill that empty space in me in all of the wrong ways. My mom was an alcoholic and she filled the void with booze and drugs. I followed in her footsteps and tried to do the same thing—I became addicted to drugs, booze, and topped that off with seeking fame and money. Worst of all, I was just a miserable human being to be around—I wasn’t a good person.
I hadn’t learned the lesson that stuff is never going to fill you up. Fame is never going to fill you up. Money is never going to fill you up. Work, accomplishment, booze, drugs, sex, you name it—will never fill you up. You will never find eternal happiness there. Sure, you will find fleeting happiness but then you need more. You become addicted to it and that doesn’t last. Everything that the world can provide is like crack cocaine — no matter how much you have you will always crave more and the emptiness will remain.
Believe me, I tried just about every way to fill that emptiness before I found God and none of it worked. There’s only one thing that can fill the void and it’s the Christmas message. Not the Christmas message of ‘be nice to people’ or the presents or even the manger. The true Christmas message is that He existed so He could die for our sins. His journey, from manger to cross, gives us a path to salvation. He died so you could fill the void—with Him.
I really, truly believe it because I’ve seen it work in my own life. And for as much as we want to make it about Frosty the Snowman and Santa, and stuff—that’s the real meaning of Christmas: Redemption.
I pray this Christmas that you find what I have found—and finally, once and for all—fill the void.