Christ Is Why We Celebrate!

Some years ago a Christmas card pictured a world into which Christ had not come. A pastor studying for his Christmas sermon fell asleep studying in his home early on Christmas morning.

In his dream he found himself looking throughout his home. There was no Christmas tree, no stockings hung over the fireplace, no holly, no mistletoe, no decorations. He went out the front door. He walked down the street. There were no Christmas lights anywhere. He could see no evidence of Christmas. Not only that, he could not see one single church, no spire pointing to heaven. Returning to his library he wanted to read a book on the Christian faith, but every book in his library about Christ had disappeared.

About that time his doorbell rang. He answered the door and it was a messenger saying, "Come, a lady is dying and she's asking for a minister." He rushed to the lady's side. He knew she was dying so he opened his Bible to read her some words of comfort, but the Bible ended at Malachi and he could find no gospel and no promise of hope and salvation. He could only bow his head and weep in despair.

Two days later he stood beside the woman's casket to conduct the funeral message, but there was no hope and no consolation. As the service concluded by the grave there was no word of the resurrection or the second coming or a home in heaven. No words of let not your heart be troubled. There was only ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the Law. Realizing that Christ had not come he burst into tears, sobbing.

Then that moment he woke up. He could hear that next door to the house, a group was singing. He looked out and saw that it was a group of Christmas carolers from his church. A shout of praise poured from his lips as he heard the message of their song inviting him to come. Oh come all ye faithful. Joyful and triumphant. Oh come ye, oh come ye to Bethlehem. Come and behold him, born the King of angels. Oh come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.

Christ is why we celebrate! This Christmas people…
· hang up lights on their houses. Jesus is the Light of the World.
· put stockings on the mantle of the fire place. In Jesus, you have gifts and abilities to serve Him.
· place candles in the windows. Light your candle and share Jesus with the world.
· Have evergreen trees. In Jesus we have everlasting life.
· exchange gifts. Jesus is the indescribable Gift.
· enjoy wonderful meals with loved ones. – Jesus is the Bread of life.
· get into debt and overextended. – Treasure Jesus more.
· travel great distances to see loved ones. – Jesus bridge the ultimate distance.

I pray you have a blessed Christmas. Thank you for your faithful partnership participation in 2017, and your church’s support through the Cooperative Program (Partnership) and Vision Virginia. We look forward to what the Lord will do in 2018.

Merry Christmas. Your brother because of Christ,

Brian Autry