I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a most blessed New Year. As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and look forward to the coming year, we are called upon to understand the meaning of the birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of our Messiah, our Savior; thereby be empowered to live out His charge to all of us who are His disciples.
It's not an accident that the very first statement Jesus made in His public ministry was taken from the prophet Isaiah: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord." (Luke 4:18-19)
As His followers, we are to follow Him and do no less! Let's fortify ourselves with Christ's presence in our lives, and have the faith to continue the ministries He has chosen for us.
By so doing, we can truly and meaningfully celebrate Christmas and see to it that, by and through God's grace, the approaching New Year bears fruit in our lives and in our ministries that redound to the benefit of our brothers and sisters who are marginalized; oppressed; imprisoned physically, psychologically, socially, politically, and, yes, "religiously," and that we truly manifest ourselves as the "ecclesia," Christ's "called out ones," set apart for God's use to help fulfill His purposes on this earth.
There is no better way of being Jesus' disciples than by preaching and living out the only Gospel to be found in Christianity: the Gospel of grace (God's unmerited favor to us); faith (trusting God over and above seen circumstances); love; peace; reconciliation, and inclusiveness!
There is no other Christianity, as there is no other Gospel!
Let's use this Christmas and coming New Year to fortify ourselves in Christ, and heartily and boldly articulate our God-given ministries, as by so doing we are truly celebrating Jesus' birth and the blessed hope He promises us for the coming year, and what years, if any, lie ahead for each of us who call on His name!
Now, turn up your speakers and enjoy!
Now play this card, clicking in the appropriate places!
And, finally, please read this superb post by Bishop Leland Somers, "Reflections on Christmas 2007," who espouses the genuine meaning of Christmas.