by Dr. Foster H. Shannon
Christmas IS a blessing! On the day we call Christmas, we celebrate Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem.
Though he was born a baby in the flesh, He was the Son of God.
GOD GIVES THE GIFT OF HIMSELF
Through the remembrance of Jesus’ birth and Life at Christmas time, we are greatly encouraged.
- Wonderful Christmas music lifts our spirits with joy and truth.
- We celebrate Jesus and rejoice in the good news that He brings.
- The close relationship between God and people is seen in a tiny baby needing the nurture and protection of parents. Our Heavenly Father watches over us.
- The presents we give hearken back to the three Magi who came to Bethlehem from Persia offering gifts to the newborn king. A life is worth honoring, no matter how small or humble to the outside world.
- How much God loves us! The celebration of God’s Love can unite us as families; refresh us in our Churches and bring us into a closer relationship with God through the personal relationship we have with our Saviour.
LAW AND GRACE UNITE IN THE GOSPEL
Jesus was called Yeshua in his day. Yeshua means: ‘SALVATION’. He is spoken of in the OLD and NEW Testaments. He was anticipated by the prophets in the Old Testament and recognized by his followers as the Messiah in the New Testament.
Whether you call Him Jesus or Yeshua is not the point, though, as long as you realize who He IS:
He is your Savior!
THE OLD TESTAMENT PREDICTED HIM
“The oracle of him who hears the words of God, and knows the knowledge of the Most High who sees the vision of the Almighty falling down but having his eyes uncovered; I see him, but not; I behold him but not neigh” ~Numbers 24:16
“The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you from your brethren – him you shall heed—“Deuteronomy 18:15
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth from me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose reign is to be of old from ancient days whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.” Micah 5:2
“Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain salvation upon you.” Hosea 10:12
THE NEW TESTAMENT REVEALED HIM
”And (Mary) gave birth to her first born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger (probably a barn or a place in a house). In that region, there were shepherds with their flocks— “an angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds, and they were filled with fear”. (from Luke, chapter 2)
John the Baptist first recognized him as the Messiah. In his gospel, John wrote about Jesus, the Man and the Saviour:
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” ( John 1:1-5)
WE GIVE BY FOLLOWING HIM
As we are encouraged to follow Jesus’ teachings of faith and loyalty to God, we are guided into a better life and learn to clearly recognize the difference between good and evil. As we read the word of God in the Bible we see the right way to live and are lead to tell the truth and relate with others kindly.
HOW CAN WE SERVE?
We live in a time when goodness is precious. The grace of God produces inner happiness, healing and the willingness to reject evil. And yet we see around us the sadness caused by violence and deaths by those who kill themselves and others. It is evident that substantial numbers are unhappy, hate themselves, and want to give up. In the USA there are approximately 38,000 suicides and 1.2 million abortions each year. God loves us and wants to bless us to avoid things that mislead and harm us. What can we do?
A person’s inspiring presence can change another, as it did William Wilberforce, after hearing the former slave trader John Newton, who wrote the song Amazing Grace, “Amazing Grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.”
The world desperately needs the light and love we carry within.
Let your light shine to others!
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