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Well here we are

The calendar has us just 10 days away from Christmas. We hear words describing this as the happiest season of all. There are reminders about the importance of family and friends at this time of the year. There are songs sung and gatherings held simply because it is the Christmas season.

The season started at Thanksgiving and will go until New Years Day. This season of the year is very important to Christian's. Now there are others who participate in the season of Christmas, yet it is uniquely Christian. Don't be bothered by that statement because it is true. As the name implies, it is about Christ and His birth.

You have probably already known that more accurately He was born in the spring. However, because of the long, dark,and cold winters and the pagan celebrations the celebration of His birth worked well in tempering the other things that were going on.

When you study history, and specifically Christmas, you will see that it was in 1659 in Massachusetts that it was banned. It seems that before Christmas ever became the Currier and Ives version we know it had found its roots in the rowdy events of the time.

I love this time of year and am especially happy that I have lived in a time when for the most part Christmas has been and was a Christian holiday. Sadly, I think we can all agree that that ship has sailed. It is no longer a Christian holiday as it rightfully should be in my humble opinion. As a child, I can remember hearing my parents and others say that Christmas was becoming too commercialized. It was and certainly is today, but it has also lost its significant. It has become a time for travel and relaxation. It is also for giving gifts and getting gifts but without any regard for what the season truly is which is the remembrance of the greatest Christmas gift ever. The gift of God's own Son, Emmanuel, God with us.

I have the privilege of preaching this Christmas Eve at a local church. I have just finished the message for that day and I want to share something with you from that message here.

When wrongs needed righting, and truth needed telling, and souls needed saving, God sent a baby into the world to accomplish it all

I am not sure who said that but it is so true. What a powerful and distinct wording that expresses exactly what and why God sent His only begotten Son.

So as you enjoy this next 8 days leading up to Christmas, I hope you will keep in the forefront of your mind what this season is truly all about. Love is the reason that God sent His Son-

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

When God sent Him it was for this reason-

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

When we read these words from John 3, I find myself seeing something I hope you see, too. Jesus was the light that came into the world. When we put up all those lights on the house and on the tree, it illuminates all around us. That light is so much better and encouraging that the darkness that also so real.

So as you make your way through this next week, let me encourage you to focus on Jesus the reason for the season. Let others see Christ in you.

In God's Grace,

Elbert Nasworthy

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