To each of my friends, thank you so much for the gift of your friendship. To my family members reading this, thank you for knowing me and loving me and being my friend anyway! :-)
Most of you know how much I love the Christmas season. It truly is my favorite time of year. One of my favorite Christmas decorations around our house is a Christmas card that I came across one year. I put it in a little frame and I love its encouragement:
"The angel's message still echoes around the world: Fear not. Good news! Christ is come!"
(Warning: humble Christian ramblings ahead, as one of my favorite bloggers, Dave Burchett, calls them).
That message, so simple, for me is the heart of Christmas. Celebrating the birth of my Savior. Delighting in the fact that this world, as wonderful and beautiful and crazy and messed up as it is, is not all there is.
I believe that I am a sinner, and that my sins would eternally separate me from God. I need forgiveness, and Christ is the only one who can offer that. He did it for me and for all of us, and he continues to hold out that promise for every person who will accept it.
I know some of you reading this are Christians, and some belong to other faiths or none at all. If I could offer you one thought this Christmas, it would be to humbly ask you to take this upcoming year (or better yet, even this upcoming day) and consider who Jesus Christ is to you. I believe that is the single most important question you will ever answer. I am not the most knowledgeable Christian you will ever run across, but if you are searching and have any questions that I can help with (or if you just want to argue with me :-) I welcome your thoughts, questions and comments. If I don't know the answer, I will do my very best to find you someone who does.
But if I could ask you to do one thing (though I have no right to, I would like to respectfully ask anyway), that is what I would ask this Christmas. No matter what your faith, please consider the claims of Jesus Christ. I believe our response to Christ has eternal consequence for each of us.
While a little deeper into the topic than I originally intended to go in this post, I would like to offer you one more thought - for any who may be considering (or dismissing) Christ from this perspective. One of my friends recently said that she and others of her faith believe that Christ existed, and was a great teacher and a good man, but that he was not God and is not the Messiah and Savior of the Bible.
Now don't get me wrong - I will be the first to admit that Christ asks us to believe some truly unbelievable stuff. Virgin births? Dead people getting out of graves and walking around? Food for five feeding thousands? And the most amazing to me - a human who never did anything wrong? It's not easy to reconcile some of the claims of Christianity (and I would offer that this is why it is a matter of faith, not something that can be entirely proven in a scientific way). But I believe that the "good teacher" argument is a mechanism that people use to try to get around the issue, and avoid personally addressing the claims of Christ himself.
C.S. Lewis once said that calling Christ merely a good man, and a good teacher, is the one thing about Christ we must not say. Christ himself closed that door when He claimed to be God. Based on that claim, there are only two logical possibilites - either He was (and is), or He wasn't (and isn't). There's no middle ground there. From those two flow three further possibilities. If He wasn't, and knew it, He was a liar. If He wasn't, but genuinely thought he was, he was either delusional or a madman - a lunatic. If either of these two possibilities is true, then he was not God, nor was He a good man or teacher, and certainly He should not be followed. But the third (and only remaining) possibility is that He was, and is, exactly who He said He was. If that be true, then I would humbly submit that His claims deserve - no, command - our consideration and attention.
My prayer for each of my friends and loved ones this Christmas (and any seeker who may stumble across this post) is that you will consider and discover who Christ really was, and is. If you have read this far, thank you for reading and considering. And whether you are a friend or family, love and hugs to you this Christmas and always!
(Thoughts, comments, questions: Email me - rottpaw at yahoo dot com)
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