Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Tree (10/09/08)
TITLE: WHERE SHOULD WE LOOK FOR THE CHRISTMAS GIFT?
By Henrietta W. Romman
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Friends! Let me ask you this question: “Where do people usually need to look for the Christmas gift?”
You will reply,
“Certainly under the Christmas Tree”
The true answer is, “Look in your Bibles!”
Because of God’s greatest gift to the world, Jesus Christ, Immanuel.
He is the Lamb Gift spoken of in the Word.
It is Christmas month! Dazzling lights are glowing.
Towns, neighborhoods and homes are fully illuminated, and decorated. We recall the strong words of Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
In the fullness of time, Immanuel became a baby. Taking our flesh upon Himself, He made His dwelling among us. Is not this what Christmas is all about? Is it not about giving? About God's greatest gift to the world and that is His only son Jesus Christ as an offering.
In turn, God's only Son, who came to seek and to save the lost, willingly gifted His life in an ultimate act of sacrifice. On the cross, the precious blood of Jesus flowed with a great cleansing forgiveness toward all sinners.
During the varying Christmas festivities that may be quite extravagant, we ponder upon the Old Testament's moving words of Nehemiah's clear message in 8:10 of his book. "For Nehemiah said unto them: Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve for the joy of the Lord is your strength."
In these hard times--during the Noel festive season in our communities, let us help with heart and Spirit those "who have nothing prepared."
In the New Testament, Luke narrated Mary's primary encounter with the angel, who assured Mary of God's favor toward her. The angel focused on the coming of the Messiah, thus dispelling Mary's fear. For ages, the Jews were waiting for this good news. The Messiah!
At the angel's message, Mary was surprised and mystified. She realized the truth of what the angel said about her conception through the Holy Spirit. Mary was God's chosen vessel to give earthly birth to Jesus Christ in human form.
Immediately Mary began showering God with honor, praise and thanksgiving, "My soul glorifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior." She realized her humble state compared to the grand role as the Birth-mother of God's Son.
How about ourselves when we first learn to recognize our need for Jesus the gift of God to come and live in our hearts. Would we not, like Mary, attain the honor and brighten up with rejoicing and singing our utmost praise upon our worthy God?
At the birth of Jesus, the angels sang as they broke the wonderful news to the terrified shepherds.
"Do not be afraid. For behold we bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger" Luke 2:10-11
A well known Jewish custom states, that whenever the Rabbi finished reading from The Torah, which is the Word of God, that Sacred Book would be enveloped in swaddling clothes and preserved for the next reading.
Jesus Christ is The Original Word of God. At birth, He too was similarly draped in swaddling clothes.
Jesus was born in a manger, in a stable, because He was "The Sacrificial Lamb" appointed by God.
As we celebrate the Nativity, we join in praying this Welsh Grace:
Let not our hearts be busy inns
That have no room for Thee,
But cradles of the living Christ
And His nativity." Amen
Therefore- let us reflect on this fact for one whole moment:
DOES THE WORLD…NEED A DECORATED CHRISTMAS
TREE…TO ANNOUNCE THE ARRIVAL OF THE LAMB OF GOD TO OUR
EARTH AS A SIMPLE BABY?....NO WAY.
Now, may I ask you one other time: This year, will you still look for God’s great gift under the Christmas Tree???
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