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Friday, December 25, 2015

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Isaiah 52:7-10
Hebrews 1:1-6
Psalm 98:1-6
John 1:1-18

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keep christmas in christ

"This enduring love came through Jesus Christ." —John 1:17

For hundreds of years, the coming of the Messiah had been prophesied. "They name Him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace. His dominion is vast and forever peaceful" (Is 9:5-6). However, when the Messiah finally was born, "there was in Him no stately bearing to make us look at Him, nor appearance that would attract us to Him. He was spurned and avoided by men" (Is 53:2-3). "The inhabitants of Jerusalem and their rulers failed to recognize Him, and in condemning Him they fulfilled the words of the prophets which we read sabbath after sabbath" (Acts 13:27). "He was in the world, and through Him the world was made, yet the world did not know Who He was. To His own He came, yet His own did not accept Him" (Jn 1:10-11). Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a manger because there was already no room for Him in the hearts of many (Lk 2:7).

Jesus, emptied of His glory (Phil 2:7), all too human, the suffering Messiah, continues to be easily rejected. He is so easily rejected that over a billion people can celebrate His birthday without giving Him a present, or even a thought. Will you be among the shepherds who notice Jesus — or even among the wise men who worship Him? Will you be like Mary and Joseph and let the Lord totally disrupt your life — all for the Baby Jesus? Will you put Christ ahead of Christmas? Reject anything in Christmas not pleasing to Christ. Accept Him as Lord and Savior of Christmas.

Prayer:  Father, give me a "Mary" Christmas. May I love Jesus as Mary does.

Promise:  God "has spoken to us through His Son." —Heb 1:2

Praise:  Praise the Christ-Child, Love incarnate!

Reference:  (We offer The Joy of Living in the Spirit, Feb. 19-20, 2015, a retreat for everyone who needs the Lord's help in their life. The Lord has given us the Spirit to make us holy in every aspect of our conduct (1 Pt 1:15). Visit presentationministries.com or call (937) 587-5464 or (513) 373-2397.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2015

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