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Summary: Four lessons about the birth of Christ to deepen our thinking about Christmas.

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CHRISTMAS IS LOVE TUGGING HUMANITY BACK TO GOD WITH THE POWERFUL GRASP FROM A TINY HAND REACHING OUT FROM A BED OF STRAW IN A MANGER.

WHEN YOU HEAR THE WORD "CHRISTMAS" WHAT COMES TO YOUR MIND FIRST? SHOPPING MALLS AND GIFTS TO BE PURCHASED? DECORATING THE HOUSE, AND GETTING THE ALL THE CARDS IN THE MAIL? OR DO YOU THINK OF THE MANGER, MARY AND JOSEPH, WISE MEN AND THE BETHLEHEM STAR?

WHILE THE WORLD THINKS, "WHAT WILL SANTA BRING ME THIS YEAR," I WOULD RATHER BE THINKING ABOUT THE GIFT GOD HAS ALREADY DELIVERED.

I’M TALKING ABOUT A GIFT THAT CAN’T FIT UNDER A TREE BUT THE ONE THAT WILL FIT PERFECTLY INSIDE MY HEART.

THE GIFT WHICH ISAIAH SAID WOULD ALLOW US TO OBTAIN JOY AND GLADNESS. THE GIFT THAT WOULD MAKE SORROW AND SIGHING FLEE AWAY.

THE GIFT WHICH WOULD MAKE THE WILDERNESS AND DRY LANDS TO BECOME GLAD. IT WOULD CAUSE THE DESERT TO BLOSSOM WITH JOY AND SINGING.

A WONDERFUL PRESENT THAT WOULD ALLOW WEAK HANDS TO BECOME STRONG AND FEEBLE KNEES TO BE MADE FIRM AGAIN.

ONE THAT WILL MAKE FEARFUL HEARTS STRONG, BLIND EYES TO RECEIVE VISION AND DEAF EARS TO BECOME OPEN.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS GIFT THAT MAKES THE LAME TO LEAP LIKE DEER AND THE TONGUES OF THE MUTE TO SING FOR JOY?

WHAT MAKES ALL THIS POSSIBLE IS THE GIFT THAT WAS WRAPPED NOT WITH SHINY PAPER AND FANCY BOWS, BUT IN REGULAR, EVERYDAY STRIPS OF CLOTH.

THE CHRIST CHILD WRAPPED IN SWADDLING CLOTHES IN THE MANGER AT BETHLEHEM IS THE GIFT THAT WAS GIVEN TO US AS A PERMANENT REMINDER OF GOD’S LOVE FOR US.

JOHN 3:16, "FOR GOD SO LOVE THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY SON, SO THAT EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM MAY NOT PERISH BUT MAY HAVE ETERNAL LIFE."

"WHEN YOU THINK OF CHRISTMAS" THIS YEAR WILL YOU MAKE A CONSCIOUS EFFORT TO REFLECT ON JESUS CHRIST AND HIS BIRTH?

CAN WE PUT ASIDE THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE OF THE COMMERCIAL SIDE OF THE HOLIDAY THIS YEAR? FORGET ABOUT ALL THE SWEETS THAT ARE YET TO BE BAKED. ALL THE GIFTS ON YOUR LIST THAT STILL NEED TO BE BOUGHT, ALL THE PARTIES YOU’VE BEEN INVITED TO AND THE TRIP TO ALL YOUR RELATIVES THAT STILL NEEDS TO BE MAPPED OUT?

THIS YEAR LEAVE ALL THOSE STRESSFUL WORRIES ASIDE AND THINK BACK ONCE AGAIN TO ALL THE VALUABLE LESSONS WE WE’RE TAUGHT ABOUT THE BIRTH OF CHRIST!

THE FIRST LESSON GOES ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE BEGINNING BECAUSE OF MARY’S WILLINGNESS. MARY WAS OBEDIENT TO THE CALL OF GOD THROUGH HIS ANGEL.

LUKE 1:30-33, "THE ANGEL SAID TO HER, ’DO NOT BE AFRAID, MARY, FOR YOU HAVE FOUND FAVOR WITH GOD. AND NOW, YOU WILL CONCEIVE IN YOUR WOMB AND BEAR A SON, AND YOU WILL NAME HIM JESUS. HE WILL BE GREAT, AND WILL BE CALLED THE SON OF THE MOST HIGH, AND THE LORD GOD WILL GIVE TO HIM THE THRONE OF HIS ANCESTOR DAVID. HE WILL REIGN OVER THE HOUSE OF JACOB FOREVER, AND OF HIS KINGDOM THERE WILL BE NO END.’"

WHAT AN INCREDIBLE MESSAGE FOR A TEENAGE GIRL TO THINK ABOUT! ALREADY ENGAGED TO BE MARRIED AND KNOWING FULL WELL THAT DEATH WAS THE PENALTY FOR BECOMING PREGNANT OUT OF MARRIAGE SHE ACCEPTED!

ALTHOUGH SHE DIDN’T FULLY COMPREHEND THE MAGNITUDE OF THE MESSAGE SHE TRUSTED THE LORD AND PRAISED HIM FOR CHOOSING HER FOR SUCH A MIGHTY WORK.


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