Oh my word. I tell you I had no idea what I would write about today for my Sunday Thought. I knew for those who might visit, a Christmas tale might be expected. Well, every day is Christmas for me so, my apologies for letting you down with something holiday oriented. But if you really want to have a bit of something Christmas then here you go.
A preacher and Christian Book Store filled the pulpit one Sunday evening since our pastor was out of town for the evening.
“Everybody, would you move forward to the edge of your seats for me?” he asked.
“Thank you. Now could you raise up your hand and say Amen?”
“Thank you, you may relax.” We all sat back in the pews with various people looking at each other strangely. Deacons were staring at deacons. I was smiling at the deacons, I was the Chairman of the Deacons at the time.
“You may all be wondering what that was about. I told the pastor I would have you all on the edge of your seats, raising your hands and saying amen before the end of the service. Now he owes me dinner.”
What’s that got to do with Christmas, right? Well this visiting preacher was a bit on the strange side. I mean cowboy boots, checkered shirt, jeans. Just saying the church wasn’t accustomed to that. I personally don’t care if the pastor is wearing shorts, Hawaiian shirt, and flip flops as long as he’s preaching the word of God and the Spirit is leading him. But he actually was a strange man. I spoke to him on several occasions after that in his store. I love books, sue me. No, don’t.
What he preached on that night left such an impression on me that I incorporated it into a Youth Lesson I taught one Wednesday night.
The Gift of Christmas is Easter
You know, a lot of people want to turn Christmas into just an economic boost. Some religions don’t even celebrate Christmas, and I mean the ones that believe in Jesus. I have a relative who doesn’t celebrate Christmas but sure does love getting a present to open. I really have no problem with any of the demoninations. Yes, I said demoninations. You see, man made the divisions. God is God. Jesus is Jesus. There you go. Dunk, sprinkle whatever. As long as they are believing in the true word of God, I’m good with it.
As you think about the baby Jesus all warm and happy in the manger, think of the bloodied and nude suffering Jesus on the cross dying for you. That little baby came here to end up like that so we could have Easter, salvation.
Part of the Trinity voluntarily came to earth in the form of an infant to live life as a human through all the sufferings of a human child and remain perfect throughout his life in order to be beaten, flogged, scourged, humiliated, crucified, murdered for us.
“Oh, but if he was God then he could be perfect” some try to say. Let me take a nail and pound it through your wrists with you knowing I intended to murder you and see if you would forgive me for it. Do you think it didn’t hurt Jesus? Do you think he didn’t feel pain? That little baby oh so cute and lovable died a murderous death. And here is something else to think about; for it to be the ultimate sacrifice for ALL of our sins, think about how badly and how horrible he must have been beaten even before getting to the cross.
I wasn’t going to talk about a Christmas related story today. I was actually going to talk about a verse I was given from Matthew, but as I began writing different words began to form on the screen and here we are. I love Christmas. I love the feelings it brings with family. It’s not the actual day of the birth of Christ but it’s nice to have a day to celebrate it. I think we should do it every day.
In the silence of that night long ago,
The son came to earth as a gift.
Celebrate the day in the way you like,
But always and every day his name uplift.
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