THE GREATEST MAN IN HISTORY IS JESUS.
He had no servants, yet they called him Master.
He had no degree, yet they called him Teacher.
He had no medicines, yet they called him Healer.
He had no army, yet they feared Him.
He won no military battles, yet he conquered the World.
He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.
He was buried in a tomb, yet He Lives Today!
BORN UNTO US! by Eberhard Arnold
There is no event in the history of salvation that so expressly calls forth joy as does the experience of Christmas. Into the world of fear and worry, right into the midst of all our troubles, comes the proclamation of great joy, “ ”
The coming of the deliverer among people who groan under their need in loneliness and death must truly be a source of abundant joy. One is born who brings us the greatest thing of all: fellowship with the living God! Here is One who through his life and death brings God to all those who are willing to accept him.
Christ’s birth was a prelude to his death. The lowliness of his birth, the immediate persecution by Herod, and the terrible massacre at Bethlehem – these are the signs over the manger signifying the life that awaited him; they are the sign of the cross. But they are also the sign that the broken bond between us and God will be restored.
The angel does not merely say that Christ is born; he says, “for you,” for you he is born. He does not say, “I bring news of great joy”; he says, “to you, I bring news of great joy.”
This brings us great joy! Here is someone who will sacrifice everything in order to free us and redeem us. because he is born to redeem us from our sins. His life and death, the action of his spirit, proves that he is the Son of the living God. This is the gospel: what was promised through the prophets is the Son who in the flesh is born of the seed of David and whose power is proven as Son in the Spirit.
This living, risen Son can only be known by faith. “The real, blessed faith that God’s word and work demands,” Martin Luther says, “is the firm faith that Christ is born for you and that his birth is yours, that it took place for your sake; for the gospel teaches that Christ was born for our sake and that he died and suffered all things for our sake. The angel does not merely say that Christ is born; he says, ‘for you,’ for you he is born. He does not say, ‘I bring news of great joy’; he says, ‘to you, I bring news of great joy.’”
The birth of Jesus took place under the sign of light. If we want to become united with the One who was born, we will give ourselves wholly to him – with all our sins! For, as Luther reminds us in the old words of the mystic Angelus Silesius, “Were Christ born a thousand times in Bethlehem and not in you, you would still be eternally lost.”
For Luther the Redeemer is identified with the sinner. “See, Christ takes our birth from us to himself and immerses it in his birth and gives us his, so that in it we might become pure and new, as if it were our own.
, as if he, like Christ, were born of Mary.” Therefore, Christ must become ours and we his. To us a child is born, to us a son is given. Born to us, to us, to us!
Whether or not the following inspirational short Christmas story is true, it’s a wonderfully inspiring story for people of any faith. In this season of love, may we all remember the beautiful love of a small child. Have a meaningful and love-filled Christmas season and new year ahead. May your days be filled with love, joy, growth, and inspiration.
The Gold Wrapping Paper – An Inspirational Short Christmas Story by Fred Burks
Once upon a time, there was a man who worked very hard just to keep food on the table for his family. This particular year a few days before Christmas, he punished his little five-year-old daughter after learning that she had used up the family’s only roll of expensive gold wrapping paper.
As money was tight, he became even more upset when on Christmas Eve he saw that the child had used all of the expensive gold paper to decorate one shoebox she had put under the Christmas tree. He also was concerned about where she had gotten money to buy what was in the shoebox.
Nevertheless, the next morning the little girl, filled with excitement, brought the gift box to her father and said, “This is for you, Daddy!”
As he opened the box, the father was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, now regretting how he had punished her.
But when he opened the shoebox, he found it was empty and again his anger flared. “Don’t you know, young lady,” he said harshly, “when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be something inside the package!”
The little girl looked up at him with sad tears rolling from her eyes and whispered: “Daddy, it’s not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was all full.”
The father was crushed. He fell on his knees and put his arms around his precious little girl. He begged her to forgive him for his unnecessary anger.
An accident took the life of the child only a short time later. It is told that the father kept this little gold box by his bed for all the years of his life. Whenever he was discouraged or faced difficult problems, he would open the box, take out an imaginary kiss, and remember the love of this beautiful child who had put it there.
In a very real sense, each of us has been given an invisible golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, family, friends and God. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.
You see, it was a simple glass jar full of popcorn and walnuts. They would bring out the jar and a big bowl. My dad would empty the jar into the bowl and start talking to us about Christmas. He started to talk about all of the things that we do at Christmas time. We would talk about things like buying gifts, going caroling, eating candy canes, and seeing Christmas lights. He would fill up the jar with the popcorn. Then he would lead our conversation to the more important things about Christmas: Jesus coming to earth, being with family, and reading the Bible story about Christmas. He would put in a walnut for each important thing about Christmas. To our surprise, they wouldn’t fit in the jar. Impossible! We just saw them all in the jar just a minute ago!
He would then go about telling us that when we fill up our time with the unimportant things first, we don’t have time for the most important things. Then he would empty the jar again. He would then start filling the jar with the walnuts first…the important things…then he would pour the popcorn over it and it all fit! When we remember and do what is important first, then there will still be time for the other things. Not that the unimportant things are bad, they aren’t! They just have their place and we need to remember that.
Matthew 6:33 says “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Keep Christ first and all else will follow.
THIS WEEK’S THREE FAVORITE PHOTOS
FROM THE CHAUVIN FAMILY TO YOUR FAMILY, A MOST MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Reach out to someone in need this week!
Let others see Jesus in you this week!
Be His light in the darkness this week!
Have a Blessed Week!
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