Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The present Christmas season is surrounded with controversy. The question kept ever before us is: Do we dare say Merry Christmas for fear of offending someone? Well, heaven literally and truly came down and the Divine literally and truly became flesh when Jesus was born in a stable and placed in that manger in the little town of Bethlehem over 2000 years ago.

While it is true that we do not know exactly when Jesus was born, December 25 is the date that our culture long ago began to honor our Lord and Savior for His birth. For that reason, this is the time of year that the vast majority of Americans give thought to Him. Now the secular forces of our culture want to take even that away from the people.

As Christians, we are to remember the Lord every first day of the week as we participate in the Lord's Supper. (cf. Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:17-32) There we commemorate His death for our sins, we proclaim our faith in Him as we wait for His return, and we examine our hearts in relationship to His body, the church. Yet, long before there was a cross, there was a manger. Though we are not commanded to formally celebrate His birth, that does not mean that we should forget it, even at Christmas time. The cross would not have taken place apart from the so-called "first Christmas."

So, if indeed you remember Christ this Christmas, remember that He was not born to remain a child wrapped in swaddling clothes laying in a manger. He was born to become our Savior by dying on a cross and to be the Lord of our lives (Luke 2:11). The message of the manger must always point people to the cross – the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The important thing is that He was born and that He died for our sins. We’re not worshiping a helpless infant lying in a manger. We’re worshiping a risen and exalted Christ who has all power in heaven and in earth (Matthew 28:18).

May we never forget that no matter how the world may treat us, we know who is Lord.

Merry Christmas to all of you and God bless.

Robert Prater

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