December 23/24, 2017 – Merry Christmas

I missed publishing yesterday as I was occupied in the final preparations for Christmas, but I wanted to make sure I got a post in today to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!  

I have attended two separate Christmas services between yesterday and today and was drawn again to the message of hope and salvation that is the focus of the season.  Beginning with Thanksgiving, we see a celebration of God’s provision to the early settlers.  With Hannukah, we see God’s provision of oil for the lighting of the temple lamps to the Maccabees.  With Christmas we see a celebration of the birth of a Savior for all mankind. 

In the service last night, the Pastor talked about being where the Savior is, and following close after Him.  Too often I have looked at following God as some concept of looking at some magical map, seeking signs and directions to get where He is.  Recently, though, while watching a show about a hostage rescue situation, I was struck by the way these people were saved. The rescue team entered the building with force, eliminating the immediate threats and then led the hostages to safety by having the hostages literally keep a hand on the assigned team member’s shoulder until they were free.  At that point, they evacuated them to a safe location, literally leading them bythe hand to their salvation.

When I think about this in the context of my beliefs and relationship with God, I realize just how little I still understand and, yet, how He uses even my secular entertainment to reveal aspects of Himself to me…and that is a very comforting thought. 

So, as we celebrate the birth of Christ tomorrow, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, health, joy and peace, and I encourage you to take time at some point in the day to just think about the salvation brought about by this birth and how it was for each one of us.  That is truly the gift of Christmas. 

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