Monday, December 21, 2009

Sharing the Good News at Christmas

I have always loved the celebration of Christmas. I grew up in a large family and my parents made it a very special time for our family. There were many special activities at school and at church. We drew names and purchased gifts for each other. We worked hard at surprising each other. The gifts were not usually very expensive, but they were special anyway.

Our family loved Charles Dicken's famous tale, A Christmas Carol. I have continued the tradition with my family. I am something of a Dicken's fanatic. The story reminds me that through the ages men and women much like Scrooge have been changed by a new awareness of the meaning of Christ's coming. When I was a boy we had an old album that was a recording of a radio broadcast of the Dicken's story. We literally wore out the album. A number of years ago my brother found a new release of the old recording on CD and gave us each a copy. I have listened to the tale many times since I received it. It is incredible how it brings to my mind Christmas experiences from my childhood.

Christmas is that kind of experience for God's people. The celebration is a reminder of the incredible significance of his coming—his Advent. It is an event that helps us to recall what God has done for us. It is a celebration of the Incarnation of the Eternal Word of God. John's prologue says, "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us!" We could never have found our way to Him, so He came to us. The most important gifts we ever give are the gifts that carry something of ourselves in the gift. God gave us Himself, in the person of His Son. It was this gift that changed everything. In Him is light and life.

I hope you will remember during this Christmas season, with all its activity, to offer a special gift to someone. Share with someone the message of His birth. Maybe their heart is cold or their life is empty like Scrooge. Share with someone who needs a Savior the good tidings of great joy. That is why we celebrate Christmas.

I also want to thank the Baptists of Missouri for keeping Christmas all year long. Your commitment to missions and evangelism demonstrates your belief that the coming of Christ has changed everything. Thank you for your gifts to our mission efforts. We invite you make a gift to our World Missions Offering to help share the message of his coming with people around the world. It is my prayer you will sense God's presence in a special way as you celebrate his birth. May God grant you opportunities to announce his coming to someone who does not know him, and may he bless you as you continue to serve him in the New Year.

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