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Summary: The first words about God’s promise of Christmas happened immediately after the fall. After God learned about the terrible loss, he promised to Eve that good news was coming. From her would come a male offspring who would crush the head of Satan who jus

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Grace and peace to you from God who comes to us at Christmas time and will come to us again. Amen.

Dear Friends in Christ:

Have you ever feared you might miss Christmas? Or maybe have you experienced Christmas without your family? Perhaps you are experiencing a Christmas like that tonight. If you have ever been in the military or if you are divorced or have lost someone dear to you, perhaps you fear what this Christmas will be like for you?

We have a rather a pretty artistic picture of what Christmas should be in our minds. We picture being at home with loved ones and friends before a crackling fireplace while sitting near a beautifully decorated tree while our favorite Christmas carols play softly on the stereo.

Christmas Eve just isn’t the same without those dearest to us. And yet not every Christmas is perfect or ideal.

Hundreds of fire victims in our community of southern California this year are not in their homes but are elsewhere. Widows are experiencing the first Christmas of their adult lives without the presence of their soul mates. Strangers and newcomers this evening all mindful that this Christmas is not like the one they had in years past. Military families who have loved ones deployed in harms way know how special this night is because it heralds the birth of the prince of peace.

Find him and you will find Christmas. Fail to find him and you will know only Christmas missed.

If you are without your special someone this year, or if you are new to our fellowship, or on a trip that has taken you here, it may lend you some comfort to remember that on the first Christmas Mary and Joseph too were not at home either. They had traveled them more than hundred miles across difficult steep terrain to an isolated village which offered little in the way of commerce and rarely hosted visitors. Only the oppressive hand of Caesar could have forced that journey. The timing could not have been more inconvenient or troublesome or providential. They arrived in Bethlehem just in time for the baby Jesus to be born, thus fulfilling the Scriptural prophecy that Bethlehem would be the place where the Messiah would be born.

This story of Christmas is not just a story. It is the truth as the Bible paints it. It is His story -- the story of the Christ -- and it is history, not just a fanciful tale someone made up.

God’s plan for the birth of the Messiah was revealed on the day humanity first plunged paradise headlong into sin.

That is the way God often works. In the midst of the deepest sorrow and darkness of life, God often provides a gift of grace that is His alone to give. He offers the unexpected. He comes with a Word of grace that is a promise of healing, honor and hope. That He chooses to come often on the heels of shattered perfection says something great about Him. His timing is perfect because He does not want us to miss out on the gift He promised. He comes when, and where, and to whom he is needed the most. And when He comes, He will not be missed.

Are you ready for Christmas or do you fear missing it?


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