Is Christmas out of fashion?
...or a shining candle in a darkening World?
These are frightening times...
Someone recently tweeted... “These are frightening times. The world is changing. But in such times there are always two ways to go. Run and hide, build walls, cower in fear and suspicion, point the finger at our neighbors, look, like desperate and frightened people do, for someone to blame”. Or...
“Or stand up and try, at least try, to build a better world..." In these darkening days the birthday of Jesus promises better. Followingare some of the Christmas gifts Jesus offers.
The gift of Light
"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. ~ John 8:12
"In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not... That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. " ~ John 1
"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." ~ 2 Corinthians 4:6
The gift of Forgiveness
From a book by Brian Zahnd
Chapter 4: "Forgiveness — The Heart of the Christian Gospel"
"I have found it very interesting to ask non-Christians what Jesus taught. Nearly without exception they will mention that Jesus taught us to love our enemies...
"Sermon on the Mount Christianity is the very kind of Christianity that can change the world. The Christlike love that absorbs the blow and responds with forgiveness is the only real hope this world has for real change. To respond to hate with hate enshrines the status quo and only guarantees that hate will win—it’s what keeps the world as it is."
The gift of Truth
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." ~ John 14:6
"All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies." ~ Psalms 25:10
"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." ~ John 1:17
The gift of Peace
"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." ~ John 14:27
"Glory be in the highest things to God, and in earth peace be to men of good will." ~ Luk. 2:14 (Wycliffe Bible)
And thou, child [John the Baptist], shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people... to guide our feet into the way of peace. ~ Luke 1:76-79
The gift of Guidance
"And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:" ~ John 20:22
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." ~ John 14:26
"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." ~ John 16:13
The gift of Life - now and forever
"...I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." ~ John 10:10b
"Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance." ~ Acts 2:28
"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." ~ John 10:28-29
The gift of Love
"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another" ~ John 13:34
"Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." ~ Ephesians 6:23
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." ~ Romans 8:38-39