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Friday, December 24, 2021

A Blessed Nativity Feast

ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us thy only begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure Virgin; Grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

May the birth of the Lord Jesus be cause for great celebration. Christ is born. Glorify Him!

Christmas greetings from Ed, Hope and Alice.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Advent and the Second Coming


Alice C. Linsley

The season of Advent prepares us for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Messiah, known as the "Feast of the Nativity." Advent also prepares us for the twelve days of Christmas. The twelve days are not observed as they should be. We are in a hurry to rush on. There is the New Year's revelry to draw our attention away from the long-awaited incarnation of the Son of God.

The Advent Scriptures typically allude to His second coming also. At His nativity, the Son of God comes to earth as a vulnerable infant. However, at His second coming He comes in power to judge the world. John 5:22 says, "The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son." 

Jesus will come again to save those who have been eagerly awaiting His return (Hebrews 9:28). Titus 2:13 speaks of the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ as our "blessed hope."

Those who are "in Christ" are eager to be with Him because "our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." (Philippians 3:20)

Many have expectations of events happening in a certain order. There are numerous end times scenarios, some of them escapist fictions. The end times have become an obsession for some Christians, and a distraction from the work we are to be doing until He arrives.

I remember meeting with an anxious child who was afraid that he would be "left behind" when his parents were raptured. His fear was stoked by his parents' obsession with fictional narratives about the rapture, the mark of the beast, and the torment of souls by the Antichrist. Apparently, this anxiety was experienced by the Thessalonians because Paul found it necessary to write this: "Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come." (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2)

Advent, Christmas, and the Second Coming should be taken seriously, but they should not be the cause of fear. Fear is the stock-in-trade of the Devil, not the Lord Jesus. As John reminds us "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear..." (1 John 4:18)

As we approach Christmas, let us go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Let us be the joyful, fearless people He enables us to be.