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God’s Message Goes Beyond Christmas

“For there is one God and One Mediator who can Reconcile God and Humanity – Christ Jesus…” – 1 Timothy 2:5-6 NLT

Once again Christmas has come and gone and we find ourselves already in a new find ourselves already in a new year. Centuries have come and gone, and the world still can’t get together on who Christ is, or why He came – forget the fact that he’s coming again, and I wonder if I’m becoming a spiritual snob. Just days after Christmas, back at work, my Jewish co-workers were happy about having had the time off. Since they do not celebrate Christmas, they had spent Christmas Day ordering Chinese Take-Out and going to the movies. They had enjoyed that the streets were quiet, that there were no crowds, and traffic was a breeze.

The whole world shuts down one day a year to celebrate a day that split history into AD and BC. God came to Earth and invaded human history, and not even at Christmastime can the world come together around this one thing, and I wonder if I am becoming a spiritual snob – because I don’t understand that they don’t get it. I know that diversity rules the world, and there are many opinions about many things but it boggles my mind that not everyone gets God – How can Christmas Day be just another day off? Albeit, there are those of us, Christians, who do not unnecessarily buy into the whole economics thing – spending money lavish gifts, but we agree that for the One we celebrate at Christmas – there is only one message and it’s a message for everyone.

Pastor has said it many times – we were not created just to live 80 or 90 years on Earth and then die. You are far more valuable to God than that. He has made some long-range plans for you. He made you to live forever, and He wants to spend eternity with you. That’s what Christmas is about. God took on human flesh and came to Earth as a baby, and one day He died for your sins and mine. But not everybody believes that, and we know that Christmas without the cross is irrelevant. Without the cross, there is no reason to spend an entire month getting ready for the celebration of Christ’s birth. No need for lights, cards, or gifts. There is a place for everyone in God’s forever family. This offer is available for everyone, and for someone to take the free gift of salvation and treat it like a dirty rag is an insult to God, and to those of us who believe.

Pastor often says that confession is good for the soul, and bad for the reputation, and I was really bothered that someone who so adamantly does not believe in Christ gets to benefit from what I consider a most holy day. I have tried several times to share the good news of Christmas, and beyond, but no matter how I’ve tried, there is no acceptance of Jesus Christ, as Messiah, or that Messiah has come. So, what do you do with someone who does not believe in God’s greatest sacrifice; sending His Son to die for someone ungrateful? The Bible says, “…for there is one God and one mediator who can reconcile God and humanity -the man Christ. He gave his lie to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.” (1 Timothy 2:5-6 NLT) and I guess regardless of whether you believe in Christ or not, God’s Message is the same: There is a place for everyone in God’s Family. It’s an open invitation – and free.  


Submitted by Deaconess Irene Gardon

Ponder This

Especially at this time of the year, our lives are so bombarded by things that are glittery attention-getters that the subtleties of life often pass us by. We’re busy in this season with gift-giving; gift-wrapping, and over-spending, sometimes to impress others. It’s all about the tress, the lights, and the lists. It’s all about the food, the mood, and the masks.

But the Savior of the world was born on a quiet night. There were no fireworks around him.

There was no processional of kins, queens or heads of state. There was no fancy layette, or cotton pajamas for the Messiah. There were no invitations to the baby-shower, no gift-registries. While almost everything we do these days, from kiddie birthday parties, to retirement celebrations is done with great fanfare, and no amount of expense is spared, the most powerful and meaningful event in the world was missed by most of the world.

The Christmas season is a magnificent time of the year. It’s an opportunity to re-focus, and rethink how we celebrate, and more importantly, why we celebrate.

What are we missing today because we seek the profound in places that are not quiet and simple? How many blessings have we overlook because we are too busy trying to be “connected” with the “right people?”

How many times has Jesus been in our midst, yet we missed Him because we were looking beyond His presence for bells and whistles, and bows, wrappings, instead of listening for His still small voice?

Don’t let the voice of noise of the times steal the joys of this season away from you.

Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

“For Unto Us a Child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” – Isaiah 9:6


Submitted by Deaconess Irene Gardon

The Maid Servant of the Lord

It has been written that when Gabriel appeared to Mary of Nazareth (Luke 1:26-38), she was perhaps no more than 15 years old. His starting announcement – that she would soon bear the very Son of the Highest – meant the end of a normal life. Mary’s name would forever be on the lips of gossips and rumor-mongers. Joseph, her husband-to-be, could decide to end their betrothal through a public, humiliating divorce. Betrothal (Luke 1:27) was a mutual promise or contract for a future marriage (De. 20:7; Jer. 2:2). Not to be entirely equated with the modern concept of engagement, betrothal followed the selection of brined by the prospective husband. The contract was negotiated by a friend or agent representing the bridegroom, and by the parents representing the bride. In Hebrew custom, betrothal was actually part of the marriage process.

Even if he “put her away secretly” (Matt 1:19), she would still have to return in shame to her father’s home or else survive on her own by whatever means she could. Faced with these ruinous prospects that she had neither caused or sought., Mary would have had plenty of reason to balk at Gabriel’s message. Instead she accepted her assignment: “Let it be to me according to word” (Luke 1:38). Her response was submissive obedience to the clearly revealed will of God. After Gabriel’s departure, Mary took practical action by visiting her relative, Elizabeth, during the third trimester before John’s birth (Luke 1:39-56). Mary’s journey into the Judean hill country was no leisurely stroll. Her support network, Elizabeth and family was probably very valuable to her. The route was an area fit for fugitives, rebels and hermits – but certainly not for a pregnant woman. But the maidservant of the Lord honored the Lord in her obedience to Him for the benefit of us all. 


Submitted Deaconess Irene Gardon