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Summary: Short message on Christmas and Easter

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Christmas Hands

Luke 2:1-21

Have you ever thought about your hands?

They separate us from all animals except the monkeys and apes

We have a thumb; others do not

With that thumb, we can make and use tools; others cannot

Because of tools, we can make and use automobiles, huge buildings and computers; others cannot

Now think about a baby’s hands

Small and delicate

Older babies can hold a rattle or a bottle

Even new babies will grip an offered finger

It is a natural reflex

Small hands . . . delicate hands . . . beautiful hands

Now go back with me 2000 years

In Bethlehem, there was a manger

It was rough hewn

Probably out of wood or stone

These “boxes” were put there to hold the animal’s food while they ate

In the manger scenes with which we are familiar, the “box” is small and barely holds the baby

In reality, it was huge and heavy

It had to be. Oxen, camels and other large animals ate, rubbed and pushed all at the same time

This was a “box” from which to feed livestock, not a family dog

Into this “box” a baby was laid

At first, he was tightly wrapped in strips of cloth to make him feel secure

Eventually, his hands came free

Small hands . . . delicate hands . . . beautiful hands

These hands began to explore his world, the world of the manger

Delicate hands exploring rough wood or stone

Hands that could not completely encircle your thumb. Look at your thumb

These are the same hands that, later, were nailed to an old rugged cross

These are the same hands that, though scarred, folded the burial cloth before leaving the tomb in victory

These are the same hands that reach down and help us through our lives

When you see a manger scene, remember the reason this baby came to Earth

One reason only

To die for you

The calendar may scream Christmas

But the reason is Easter

Think about it

To read more go to www.opendoorstochrist.org

Rev. O. K. Neal


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