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"Hard is not hopeless." - General David Petraeus

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I love Christmas. I love having a day off work, just like anybody. I love having a day to relax and spend time with my family and to think about the year to come. I love it because it's the one day a year that, at least for a while, my neighborhood is quiet and they don't feel the urge to play their deafening BOOM BOOM BOOM music and disturb the general peace.

But most of all I love Christmas because it is what people traditionally understand as the beginning of Jesus’ story of life, although it really isn’t.

I think most people know Luke 2 by heart. I never tire of the beautiful, lyrical prose contained in the King James Version of the Bible – the words are literally music upon my ears each time I read them:

1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. 2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Luke 2:1-20 (KJV)

It makes my eyes well up with tears of relief just reading about the birth of our Savior.

But that was only His birth into human flesh – God become man to grow up and one day bear the burden of our sins though He was without sin himself.

But we know that Jesus existed from the beginning with God. John 1:1 (KJV) says:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Jesus was there from the dawn of Creation.

And in Genesis we further read:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. . . Genesis 1:26 (KJV)

Let us make man in our image. Studying Genesis as a child, I never noticed that distinction before. But now I see it. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.

God had a plan for us, even before He created Adam and Eve. One that involved sending the Son to the earth in human flesh to pay the price for our sins. That is what I desire for all to understand this Christmas day. There is no sin we can commit that has not been covered by Jesus’ death on the cross. No matter what we are facing, no matter how bad we think we may be, simply accepting Jesus as Savior wipes away our sin and we become new creatures in Christ. Haven’t we all wanted to make a new start at some time or another in our lives? I know I have. And Jesus is just waiting for us to reach out to Him. He’s not a baby any more. He is ready to extend everlasting life, grace and peace to those who will receive Him.

May God bless you richly this Christmas, and I pray if you have not already met the Savior personally, that today, Christmas, would be the day. There’s no better time.

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