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Recapturing Christmas

Wednesday, December 23, 2015 @ 8:29 AM
Recapturing Christmas Take the time to reacquaint yourself with the true meaning of Christmas by reading relevant Bible passages about the birth of Christ.
God gives to us because He loves us. - Jessica Webb

This is the first year that I have actually stopped and studied the true meaning for Christmas.  I did not grow up in a Christian home as a child so Christmas was about Santa rather than Jesus.  A friend of mine asked about Advent in a Facebook post and it sparked my curiosity. I didn’t realize how empty the Christmas season had been even though it was filled with gifts and parties.  Even after giving my life to Christ almost four years ago, when Christmas came around I prepared and celebrated it with the same old routine without even opening my Bible. That grieves me because for years now I have missed so much the Holy Spirit has wanted to pour into me and my family. 

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (MSG) - Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

Recognizing that all scripture is inspired by God to show us truth and to correct and train us makes me look at Matthew 1-2, Luke 1-2, Isaiah 9:6-7, John 3:16, John 1:9-14 and Galatians 4:4 through a different lens.

In my quiet time listening to the Lord, He has shown me so much about applying Scripture to my daily life, and in particular about the season of Advent.  From the angel appearing to Zechariah; to the birth of Jesus in a manger; to Simeon and Anna prophesying over Jesus when he was 8 days old; to Joseph and Mary fleeing from Herod.

Scripture says in Luke 1 that Mary and Zechariah, even before Jesus was born, praised God in song.  As Christmas approaches we should rejoice in song – Psalm 40:3, “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God…” 

In Luke 2 an angel appeared to shepherds in the fields and the glory of the Lord shone around them.  The angel told them that he comes to bring good news of great joy.  The Savior had been born, Christ the Lord.   Then an ARMY of angels appeared praising God.  This is another example of how we are to celebrate Christ’s birth. 

The Magi, or wise men, were from pagan lands but were able to recognize that something very profound was taking place in the world.  They saw something unusual in the heavens and rather than just gaze interestingly, gave chase.  Their gifts to the holy family were both practical and prophetic. The story of the Magi challenges me to ask, what am I giving to Christ as a gift?  The only gift He asks for is “all of me” and He deserves nothing less.

It is sad that much of today’s culture seems to be following the example of King Herod.  Instead of being in awe of how the God who created the universe humbled himself for us we are trying to kill the Child.  The threat Jesus poses to the proud and powerful in this world is just as real today as it was a couple thousand years ago.   Are we concerned that if we stop focusing on ourselves and embrace the true meaning of Christmas we will somehow diminish in relevance? 

Why don’t we return to Scripture and celebrate the Nativity as told in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke?  Why can’t we see how absolutely important the incarnation is to the plan of salvation?  I am so thankful Christ came as a baby and grew into manhood.  I am so thankful He will be coming back for us soon…riding the clouds.  If we will only embrace the Nativity, our hearts and minds will learn to be watchful and prepared for His return.

God gives to us because He loves us.  When we give gifts this Christmas let it be because of the love we have for Him and for others.  Let’s celebrate and live out the true reason for Christmas-Christ.

Attorney General Sessions needs to hear from you

In August, Judge Reed O'Connor of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas blocked President Barack Obama's transgender bathroom directive. The Obama Administration appealed that decision to the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans. The good news is that, over the weekend, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice withdrew the appellate motion filed by the Obama administration. This means that Judge O'Connor's ruling will likely stand. This is a victory for our children's safety and the rule of law.

Thank Attorney General Sessions for this action to protect our children's privacy and safety.

Related to this radical attempt by the Obama administration is the retail chain Target’s decision last April. Target announced it was allowing men who felt like women into female restrooms and changing facilities. Target’s policy undermines the privacy and safety of women and children. Men don't belong in the same changing area as women. For this reason, AFA launched the #BoycottTarget campaign which has been immensely successful by garnering nearly 1.5 million signatures of individuals who will no longer be shopping at Target until they reverse this misguided policy.

This recent action by the Department of Justice sends a signal that policies like Target’s should not be pushed on American families, much less America’s children. The #BoycottTarget movement is making a difference. We must let Attorney General Sessions know that we appreciate his department’s actions.

Thank Attorney General Sessions for this bold action to protect America’s schoolchildren.

Your effort in signing this petition will not go unnoticed. We must speak up if we are going to protect our children.

TAKE ACTION

Thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for withdrawing from President Obama's transgender bathroom directive.

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