Read Psalm 80

 

Have you been able to get in your family Christmas serving opportunity yet? You know what I mean, the annual trip to serve at the soup kitchen or putting an extra gift in the Salvation Army boxes at Target or Walmart.

This year with my kids, Olivia (3) and Henry (2), we chose to do an Operation Christmas Child box and it was … a success? I decided to be brave and take the two of them shopping for it by myself and while we did get the supplies for the boxes, the Christmas magic feeling of the whole experience was somewhat lost. At least two of us cried and I’m not going to say who …

I think that Psalm 80 is a great reminder for us of through who’s power and to who’s credit we do these tasks. Not just during Christmas but all year long.

In Psalm 80 we see the believer represented as a branch on a vine. This vine was planted by God, maintained by Him and able to take root through Him. The roots of this Vine are non-other than the Baby that we will celebrate in just a few short days.

A branch on a vine is useless, in fact it can’t even exist, without the roots. The branch is also an extension of the root, what comes from the root is extended out through the branch. This is why an apple branch on its own won’t grow apples, and also why an apple branch on an apple tree won’t produce pears.

It’s imperative this Christmas, or any time of the year, that we rest in the reality that our salvation, our ability to have abundant life and even be a living branch, comes from Jesus alone. That small baby that was born is the foundation of our entire lives as believers.

It’s also important to reflect on the reality that our power to, “do” happens through Jesus. Without Him as our root we don’t even have the ability to do things for the kingdom.

To be honest, this Christmas I missed an opportunity for myself and my children when I didn’t engage my heart with the reality of Psalm 80. We got our shopping done for our Operation Christmas Child boxes and that was really about it – box checked.

I had the chance to turn my heart towards the Savior that was born during this season and remember that my act of buying gifts for children was done through the Holy Spirit’s power within me and was an opportunity to be a small amount a branch extended of a powerful root for a child in need.

“Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved!” (v. 7).

Jesus was born, we can be restored, connected to the vine, living off of His roots and drawing from His power.

This Christmas we get to rest in this truth and use it to be an extension of this love to those around us so that they may be restored and saved as well!

 

Joel Bowers

 

 

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