Christmas greetings, everyone!
Today is a cold, cloudy and dreary day in central Missouri. After so far experiencing weird and wild December weather (record highs in the mid-seventies several days and destructively wicked December tornadoes), the weather has been a little more normal the last couple of days. I hope we remember to pray for all the victims who have had their world turned upside down by the devastation of their homes and businesses in Kentucky and surrounding states, but more importantly, to pray for the families who have lost loved ones in the wake of these storms.
Only two more concerts remain on our calendar for 2021. This Sunday we sing in Fayetteville, MO. First we sing for At the Cross Fellowship at 9:00 am, then for Liberty Baptist Church at 11:00 am. These meet in the same building, and we are really excited for the opportunity. We actually met the man who booked us while eating in the Bob Evans restaurant in Columbia. When he found out we sing he wanted us to give an impromptu audition there in the restaurant, so we sang “In the Garden” accapella for him. He asked if we’d come to his church if he called us, and we told him absolutely! He then told us we’d be hearing from him. Now to be honest, we’ve heard that so many times with no follow up that we had our doubts whether we’d hear from him or not, but lo and behold, we did! What a blessing and encouragement that was.
Friday, December 31 we hold our second annual New Year’s Eve Gospel Sing and soup supper in Mexico, MO. It will be held at the Mexico Church of God Holiness Christian Life Center. The soup supper starts at 5:00 pm. Soups, drinks and tableware will be provided, but we ask that you bring some finger foods or deserts to share. The singing starts at 6:00 with three groups and a soloist scheduled to sing about 30 minutes apiece. We’d love to see you there and hope you can attend. At the end of the newsletter, I’ll include the flyer with all the details for the event. For those of you are coming from out of town (Cheryl would love to see all of you she hasn’t been able to see for the last two and a half years), I’ll also include motel information if you wish to spend the night.
As we approach Christmas day I hope we are not so distracted by all the hustle and bustle, lights, decorations, glitter, glimmer, presents, parties and celebrations that we forget the reason Christmas is important. It’s all about the baby Jesus born in a stable in Bethlehem. Now, I know the world we live in tries to diminish or dismiss the importance of Jesus. In fact, Jesus is viewed as a threat to many people these days, but that is nothing new. Consider these verses from the book of Matthew:
Now when they (the wise men) departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.” Then Herod, when he saw the he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. Matthew 2: 13-16
Most people know the story. On their way to find Jesus the wise men stopped at King Herod’s palace. They told Herod they had been following a star for two years to find a new king who had been born in Bethlehem. When Herod heard this, he pretended he wanted to go and worship the new king as well, but he really just wanted to kill the threat to his throne. He told the wise men to come back after they found the new king and report where he was. After they found Jesus (now about two years old) at the house he lived in with Mary and Joseph, they worshiped Him and gave Him gifts. Then they were warned by an angel of Herod’s plan, so they returned home by a route that avoided Herod’s palace. An angel warned Joseph, and he moved his family to Egypt as God instructed. When Herod found out the wise men did not return to tell him where Jesus was, he was so livid he ordered all males in Bethlehem and surrounding areas two years old and under to be killed, thinking one of them would be the new king the wise men talked about. Herod, full of sin and pride and in his desire to remain king and protect his power, viewed Jesus as a threat and was willing to kill the only One who could deliver him from his sins. We need to remember that at the same time the wise men were offering gifts to and worshiping the baby King, he was also being feared, loathed and exiled to a foreign land by others.
Not only does the world continue to fear, loath and reject Christ through their pride and sin (as Herod did), at the same time through abortion, legalized euthanasia, the teaching of evolution instead of Biblical creation, the perversion of the Godly design for marriage and the nuclear family, the propaganda that people can be a different gender than what they were born as, and many other attacks, they try to convince us that there is no absolute truth or authority to hold us accountable. To sum it up, the ruler of this world (Satan) tries to convince us that we have no inherent worth. Not in the womb. Not out of it. The world tells us that we are an accident. An aberration. And most definitely not a creation.
This is what makes the Baby in the manger so important. The birth of Christ is a defining moment of our worth; for if we are created (which we are), then there is a Creator Who defines what that worth is. His birth is proof that we have worth in God’s eyes. We were created by Him, which means there is One to Whom we are accountable, and though we chose to reject Him, He was willing to send His own Son to be our sacrifice so that we could have salvation through Christ’s shed blood. God literally placed the keys to His kingdom in the hands of His son, in the form of a helpless little baby.
This Christmas, remember that the birth of the baby in a stable in Bethlehem changed everything. It brought us a Savior who would pay for our sins through His death, so that we may have salvation if we just believe on Him and accept His sacrifice to pay for our sins. Don’t let the world convince you that you are just an accident. You are God’s creation, and He loves you.
Christmas is a time to remember how important the birth of Christ is and what it means. It’s our prayer that you’ve already trusted Him as your Savior. If you haven’t, it’s our prayer that this year the birth of Christ echoes so loudly in your heart that it overcomes the deception of the world and you choose to believe on Him. What a blessed Christmas it would be!
As we close, we want to thank all of you for your prayers and support over the last year, and we wish you a Merry Christmas and a blessed and Happy New Year. Always remember, that Christmas is all…….
There are three motels within four miles of the Christian Life Center. Here is the information on those motels in Mexico if you wish to come to the sing and spend the night:
Days Inn: 2902 South Clark Street (573)-581-1860 1.8 miles from Life Center
Best Western: 3602 South Clark Street (573)-582-0700 2.5 miles from Life Center
Amerihost Inn: 900 Vance Road (573)-582-0055 4.0 miles from Life Center