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By Pastor Earl Herr

Thought for the Week

Christmas Time


December 5, 2019

Illustration by John McConahy

Scriptures to Read:

Genesis 3:1-7

Genesis 3:8-13

Genesis 3:14-15 & Romans 16:20

Genesis 3:15-19

Isaiah 7:14 & 9:2-7

Genesis 17:1-9

Genesis 22:1-14

We generally observe Christmas on Dec. 25. Of course there are those who stretch it a bit and celebrate "Orthodox" Christmas that lasts into January. We also know there is a broadening time when we sing carols, see decorations, have special activities related to Christmas so it is more than a one-day affair. There is something good and exciting about that. There may also be an undercurrent of unhappiness about the commercialization of Christmas when we see "Christmas Sales" and related activities beginning as early as October. We also hear about "Christmas in July" from folks who want to do something styled after Christmas at another time of year. We may feel such things dilute the speciality of Christmas, making it less than we want it to be.

We must remember the Christmas Story is a more-than-one-day-event. The Church may consider the announcement of the birth of John the Baptist as the beginning of the Christmas Story. That must have happened at least 15 months prior to the Birth of Jesus Christ. Then, of course, there is the prophecy of Isaiah about the Virgin conceiving and bearing a Son which was well more than 600 years earlier. And since we are thinking in that vein, there is a prophecy about the "Seed of the woman" destroying the "seed of Satan," which came in The Garden of Eden 4,000 years or more earlier.

So, surely the promises and celebrations have been around as long as there is recorded history for human kind. Nobody can really take away the speciality of Christmas. We must just each as individuals keep each event leading up to Christmas special in our hearts. I expect lots of mothers mark out the little things along the way: like the first inkling a baby was growing inside, or when she felt a first "kick," or began to choose names for the baby. These might not be special for everyone but for the mother, they are special.

Adam and Eve must have been devastated when God found them out in their disobedience and pronounced judgment on them. But even in this terrible time there is that ray of blessed hope as God said: "I will put enmity (hatred) between thee (Satan disguised as a serpent) and the woman and between thy seed (the demon host) and her Seed (The virgin-born, God in the flesh, Christ), and He (the Seed of the woman) shall bruise thy head (striking a death blow) and thou shalt bruise his heel (bringing enormous suffering)" (see Genesis 3:15 and the surrounding Scriptures).

So, when you hear that first carol of the season, or decorate a tree, or read the Christmas Story, whenever and wherever you are when the first thoughts of Christmas 2019 strike you, pause for just a moment and rejoice in wonder and amazement: God has done this for you. Of course it is for all of us, but you are just as special as Mary in God's love and His plan for your life. In that moment respond to God by saying "I am Your servant, do in me as you know best."


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