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 Issue #64 Mon, 19 Dec 2005

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Female Number of posts : 2309
Age : 26
Real Name : Alyssa
Location : Eastern USA
Registration date : 2006-12-17

PostSubject: Issue #64 Mon, 19 Dec 2005   March 11th 2007, 22:34

DON'T FORGET CHRISTMAS!

Dear Youth,

The shops sparkle and glimmer in their shimmering coats of tinsel, garlands and stars. The houses cry for attention with their glossy, bright lights and lighted figurines. The streets bustle with people of all ages, making last-minute preparations. The grocery stores boast long queues. Trees that have had little attention all year round, all of a sudden become the center of attention and focus as happy, gleaming children wrap strings and garlands, angels and ornaments on the rich evergreen pines. The delighted children tousle over who will place the brightest star on the very top of the tree. Excited giggles explode as bright, dazzling packages mysteriously appear under the tree.

It's that time of year we call Christmas. This season is celebrated world-wide, it is nationally known as a time of fun, joy, laughter, and excitement, yet in all this confusion and hustle, the real meaning and real REASON for Christmas is left out and forgotten!

So many times we can get caught up in all the preparation and tokens of Christmas that we totally forget about Jesus, who is supposed to be the center foundation of all our Christmas celebrations! It is right that we buy gifts of love and remembrance for one another, but we should never let this crowd out any thought of Jesus. "While you are devising gifts for one another, I would remind you of our heavenly Friend, lest you should be unmindful of His claims. Will He not be pleased if we show that we have not forgotten Him?" (The Adventist Home, p. 480)

As Christians, we have the privilege of bringing a whole new sphere into Christmas. The world lightly acknowledges the birth of Jesus at Christmas time, but does not understand the full story, and meaning of His birth and death as we do. We know of the terrible pain, sufferings, and humiliation our Savior went through to ensure our salvation, we know the terrible sorrow of the Father and all the host of heaven as Jesus came to this degenerate earth to live as a man. We are told that: "The angels could not rejoice as Christ opened before them the plan of redemption, for they saw that man's salvation must cost their loved Commander unutterable woe. In grief and wonder they listened to His words as He told them how He must descend from heaven's purity and peace, its joy and glory and immortal life, and come in contact with the degradation of earth, to endure its sorrow, shame, and death." (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 64) Oh, what infinite love, what great sacrifice He made, and all of this for me and for you.

Jesus ultimately came to this world to save us. "For the Son of man is come to seek and save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10) Have you ever wondered why Jesus couldn't come as an adult? Why did He come as the little baby of Bethlehem? Jesus came, not only to save us, but to give us an example of the life we, too, must live. "For this reason, He took upon Himself our nature and passed through our experiences." (The Desire of Ages, p. 24) He went through each stage you and I will pass through. He came as a baby, and grew to be a child, a youth, and finally a man. He also came to this world to bridge the terrible gulf that sin had made. "By His humanity, Christ touched humanity; by His divinity, He lays hold upon the throne of God. As the Son of man, He gave us an example of obedience; as the Son of God, He gives us power to obey." (The Desire of Ages, p. 24)

Christmas is not about the garlands, the wreaths, the trees, the tinsel, the candles or the food, not even about the gifts, it's about Jesus. The things we do at Christmas, the gifts we buy, the decorations we use, the carols we sing, should all point to Jesus, who IS the reason for the season. In a lot of ways, I think we have forgotten Christmas. No, we haven't forgotten about the tree, or the gifts. We haven't forgotten the cards or the wreaths, but we have forgotten Jesus. Jesus, our dear Lord and Savior is forgotten.

Have YOU forgotten Him this year? "If we keep Christmas at all, we should show that we understand it's significance. Instead of saying by our actions that we are putting Christ out of our minds and hearts, let us testify to men, to angels, and to God, that we remember our Redeemer, by following His example of self-denial for other's good." (Signs of the Times, December 8, 1887) Have you forgotten Jesus in all the hurry, stress, and excitement of Christmas? If you have friends, then don't think that it's too late to remember Him now! It is never too late!

If our minds are contemplating Jesus this season, than won't we want to follow His example? Shouldn't we be thankful and appreciative of the absolute sacrifice Jesus made for us? Not only the sacrifice in which He died for us on that cruel cross, but also the sacrifice He made to leave all HEAVEN and it's glory to come down to this lowly, dark world to be born as a baby in a MANGER! The sacrifice He made to life a holy life amid such dark and overpowering circumstances, to buy us back, to redeem us, to save us, to give us life! He says, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) And yet, we show so little appreciation for all He did for us. Maybe we don't know how. If that is the case, then let me tell you how! "By a life of conformity to His example, we are to show our appreciation of His sacrifice in our behalf." (Messages to Young People, p. 16)

Let's not forget Christmas this year! Leave aside the tinsel and sparkles if you wish, but don't forget Jesus! Don't forget to SHOW Him, by living His life, that you are truly thankful for the pain, humiliation and sorrow that He went through to ransom YOU! Remember that He came to save you FROM your sins, to give you freedom from the bondage of sin! "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21)

Thank Him for paying the price for your ransom. Don't just thank Him with words, but in deeds also. May it truly be said by you, as it was by the angels at Christ's birth: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." (Luke 2:14)

--Stephanie Fox
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Issue #64 Mon, 19 Dec 2005
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