Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Christ is Born!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night! You may have a good day too. Whew! I made it past the 23rd this year without one of those gifts. You know what gifts, don't make me write it. Okay, last year, in case you missed it, the VA kindly sent me a jug of GoLytely for a Christmas present. I vowed to never again whine to the Lord about not getting any Christmas presents. Grumbling is certainly a bad thing. We learned that from the story of the Israelites in the wilderness. However, one horrible gift in one year should not make us flee all gifts. Many hurtful, evil people have been born and lived on this earth, but one precious baby was born in Bethlehem.

One most excellent gift at Christmas can overshadow a bunch of thoughtless ones. God gave to us the greatest gift of all at a time we needed it most. Sinners need salvation. We have no deeper need than to be saved from the payment sin brings to us. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom 6:23) We hear the fist part of this verse quoted a lot, but this Christmas Eve let us remember the better part of that verse, the gift of God.

No Santy Claus can give us the one gift that stands above all others - that of eternal life in Christ Jesus. This gift from God is so critical, so huge, that our minds have trouble grasping it. To unwrap the gift of eternal life is to die from this life, and we have trouble seeing past the wrapping paper. Many of us would prefer the Rapture and take a pass on that dreadful wrapping. Maybe we look at it wrong. To a sinner, God's wrapping paper seems dark, mysterious, and filled with fear-inducing anxiety. If we could but see the gift from God's view, we no doubt would appreciate the gift of dying for what it is, a mere thin wrapper over the greatest of gifts. Look to the blessed Baby born at Bethlehem for us. His blood covers the dreadful wrapper in beauty and comfort. Many a saint has gone willingly into that last night with a smile and the light of Jesus shining through his or her countenance. Let the light of Christmas shine in your heart in the strength of Christ.


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