Barb and I hope you and yours are having a Christ-centered, warm-memory-creating, family filled Christmas and that you each have a most Blessed New Year.
Here are some words from my friend, Gary Bauer, that I hope will be an encouragement and blessing:
Christmas is a time of hope and blessings, a celebration of life and salvation. The Scriptures teach us that children are a blessing from God. It has also been said that the birth of each new child is a sign that God has not yet given up on this world.
That was never more true than the night two thousand years ago when the Son of Man was born in Bethlehem; born to bring the hope of salvation and the blessing of eternal life. When the Christ Child came into the world, his cry pierced the night and split all of human history in half.
During a sermon in 1926, Reverend James Allan Francis summarized the profound impact of life of Jesus Christ. No doubt many of you will recognize his words:
Here is a man who was born in an obscure village as the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another obscure village. He worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty and then for three years was an itinerant preacher.
He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never owned a home. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put his foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness.
He had no credentials but himself. He had nothing to do with this world except the naked power of his divine manhood. While still a young man the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied him. Another betrayed him.
He was turned over to his enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon the cross between two thieves. His executioners gambled for the only piece of property he had on earth while he was dying, and that was his coat. When he was dead, he was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone and today he is the center of the human race and the leader of the column of progress.
I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that were ever built, and all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon the earth as powerfully as has this one solitary life.
No one can predict the headlines in the weeks and months ahead, but we can rest assured that one day every head will bow and every knee will bend before the King of Kings.
While the focus of Christmas is, of course, Christ’s birth in Bethlehem, I can’t escape Christmas’ unique role in the birth of our nation. It was on Christmas night in 1776 that General George Washington crossed the Delaware River and launched a daring surprise attack on the Hessian mercenaries. Washington’s victory at the Battle of Trenton was a turning point in the American Revolution. Surely God was there, and I pray that the God of Abraham is with us still!
Merry Christmas! And may you enjoy all of God’s richest blessings in the year ahead.