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Fear Not – For Unto Us a Child is Born #1

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(c) 2014 John Thurman – Old Town Abq – Christmas Eve at San Felipe

​Well, like most men, I am finishing up my Christmas shopping, and thanks to Amazon, everything will be here in time.
 
I love this time of the year; I have loved it since I was little. My mom and dad always kept the joy and excitement of celebrating Jesus’ birthday. While it was always a challenge to get us to bed on Christmas Eve, they managed to even with the help of a little Benadryl. The season was always about Christ, but there was always wild-eyed excitement on Christmas day. I am glad that I grew up in a home where this was such a glorious time
 
Now that we are the grandparents of three grandsons, which makes this Advent Season more exciting. Connor, the five-year-old helped Mimi put up breakable ornaments this year. It was fun watching how careful and artistic he was in placing the ornaments on the tree. Elijah our 23-month-old helped out also. Mimi has some bright and shiny ornaments that he put on the tree. It was a blast watching him watch his older cousin placing the ornaments. By the way, not parents, grandparents, pets, children, or ornaments were harmed in this annual event. Having adult children who will pass on great family traditions and stories, but more importantly, teach their sons about the true meaning of Christmas is a blessing.
 
With all of the activities around this season, I like to look back to what early preachers and Bible scholars had to say about the birth of Christ. Please take a moment to read some of the words from Martin Luther’s sermon on the Nativity preached in 1530.
 
“If Christ had arrived with trumpets and laid in a cradle of gold, his birth would have been a splendid affair. But it would not be a comfort to me. He was rather to lie in the lap of a poor maiden and be thought of little significance in the eyes of the world. Now I can come to him. Now he reveals himself to the miserable in order not to give any impression that he arrives with great power, splendor, wisdom, and aristocratic manners. But upon his return on that Day, when he will oppose the high and the mighty, it will be different. Now he comes to the poor, who need a Savior, but then he will come as a Judge against those who are persecuting him now.”
 
In these days where it is easy to be distracted by world events when our culture is growing increasing fearful, we need to look to the baby in a manger. Not just the baby Jesus, but the infant who would grow up to overcome sin, death, and hell. The baby who will return as the Messiah King. Jesus, who promises to be with us in the good and bad time.
 
Push back your fear, don’t let the darkness of depression choke you out, embrace God’s love, and have a Merry Christmas.
 
Here is a quick action plan.
 
1. Go to church this week. Most churches have Christmas Eve Services; I think Sagebrush, our church is doing four or five. If you do not go to church, find a service you can do with watch through live streaming or on television.
2. Be with others, isolation is not a good thing.
            

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