Monday, December 17, 2007

And it came to pass . . .

A couple of days ago Randy Vader, president of PraiseGathering Music, shared this with a group of ministry people on a email list. Randy is not only president of a Christian music publishing company; he is also a prolific writer. In my opinion he often has profound thoughts that he shares with the Church community. He offered to let us share his Christmas thoughts with people in our ministries and I thought of you. I hope his thoughts will bless you as much as they have blessed me these past few days.

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus . . .

And it came to pass . . . I have always loved the poetic nuance of Luke's preamble to the story of the Incarnation. The simplicity of the language seems to suggest that these events unfolded almost casually, unremarkably, inevitably. Nothing could be further from the truth. Make no mistake – from the first cry that escaped from the lungs of that newborn baby, the plan of redemption that had been in place from the foundation of the world became locked in the dimensions of time and space as decreed by God the Creator. As in all the plans of the Father, the timing was perfect. And now we celebrate a story rooted in antiquity, vibrant and alive in the present, and guided by a sure and steady Hand toward the future. Christmas cannot be relegated to just an historical event. Christmas cannot be revered just for its ancient traditions. Christmas cannot be redefined into a non-defined national holiday. Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, the Christ - who was conceived of the Holy Spirit - born of the Virgin Mary. Christmas is about discovery. Christmas is about believing in the miraculous attaching itself to the commonplace. Christmas is about Heaven touching Earth through promises made and promises kept. Christmas is about the wisdom of trusting and obeying, of seeking and finding. Christmas is about finally knowing that if you follow - there is a way home. The path to the Father may be a narrow way – but it is clearly marked by a manger, a bloodstained cross and an empty tomb. Our lives are inextricably woven into these sacred reminders of sacred holidays.

I had the joy of watching my children begin to grasp the significance of Christmas – which made the season so much more rich and meaningful. Then they grew up and moved away and I dreamed of one day having the chance to relive the joy through our grandchildren. And it came to pass . . .

Randy Vader - Christmas 2007

May you come to understand His Gift in a deeper way this Christmas season!

Dr. Val

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