A Christmas Greeting from A.J. and Barbara Fedor
Okay, 2020's almost over, (Yippee!) but actually, this wish has no expiration date. I wrote this a few years back, but haven't seen the need to change it again this year. So, even if you've read this before, I dare you to read it again and remember: this one doesn't "evolve," "bend," "mellow," or change with the times. Nothin' warm and fuzzy here, just straight "yes/no" "up/down" on/off" logic. So, here's a real Christmas card/page for ya. Warning - If you consider yourself "politically correct," you may find the content offensive. (don't say I didn't warn ya! ) Rev. SlideMeister :o)
Wouldn't it be cool not having to “feign” all the “Love, Joy, Peace and Goodwill towards man” stuff for a few days a year, because it's already a genuine part of you? Wouldn't it be great to have “real fruit” instead of that cheap, plastic fruit that always seems to disappear by the first week of January, just like our New Year's Resolutions? :o)
Celebrating "Xmas" or the "Holidays," and feigning the above mentioned virtues for a few days a year, and using the anniversary of the physical, earthly birth of the Son of God as an excuse to "party," without having a true relationship with Him is just not right. Believe it or not, the virtues natural man has to "fake" at Christmas can actually be a genuine part of man's nature; but they have to come from a pure heart, and that my friends, can only come from a real, on-going relationship with the One who actually started the whole thing by showing up in that manger There's really no way around it.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Luke 2:11-14
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21
Here's a Contemporary Christmas Conversation:
"Hey dude, It's Christmas! Let's party!"
"Kewl, but first, do you know the real meaning of Christmas?
"Sure! It's supposed to be Jesus' birthday!”
“You know, The virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, the manger in Bethlehem, with the cow & the lamb, shepherds, three wise guys, the little kid with the drum and all that. What'd I miss?
"Okay, you're close, but do you know what ‘all that’ means?"
"Uh . . . Sure I do!"
"Oh, then you’re a Christian?"
"Uh .... yeah, absolutely, . . . . . . . I guess!"
"Kewl! Where do you attend church?"
"Well, I haven’t really gone to church for years, but I usta go when I was a kid"
"I see; But you still read your Bible every day, right?”
"Well no, actually I never was all that religious"
"Then do you know what the bible is?”
"Sure, whaddaya think I'm an idiot?? It's a book about God and Jesus and stuff.
"Do you have a one of your own?"
"Nah, I don't think so anymore; haven't seen it in years but I usta have a cool one when I was a kid. My Grandma gave it to me. It was genuine leather with a couple silk ribbons, gold edges and those neat thumb notch thingies in the page edges and everything. I ain't sure what ever happened to it."
“What version was it?"
"I dunno, it was uhhh . . . . .black."
"Was it a red letter edition?"
"Were the words of Jesus in red letters?"
"Heck, I don't remember. I mostly remember that it looked cool on the outside!"
"Okay, lemme get this straight: You say you believe Christmas was when Jesus came to be born on earth, and you celebrate it by getting paid for taking the day off work, decorating your house, giving gifts, going to parties and getting real happy, right?"
"Uhh ... well, Yeah, I guess!"
"I mean, why would you want to "celebrate" the day Almighty God sent His only Son into the world to give them a gift, when in reality, you've never bothered to receive that gift?
"Okay, Now you’re confusing me! Whachoo talkin' bout Willis"?
Well, what's wrong with this picture: Jesus is standing there with the gift in His hand, holding it out to you, and instead of taking it from His outstretched hand, you just take off in another direction and "celebrate?"
Truth is: Most folks like to "observe" Christmas; but only true Christians can actually "celebrate" it. Selah! (that'sa fancy bible word that means: "let that sink in, and cook for a moment.)
Sadly, most folks would rather pretend to "celebrate” the gift than actually “receive” the gift. Instead, we spend our time, energy and even go into financial debt, and call it "celebrating" Christmas. How weird is that? Could it be that we don't really want the gift; just the celebration? We don't go to church, we don't read our Bibles, and all I we remember about the Bible is the "gold edges" when the real gold is what’s found between the pages, and yet we still like to "celebrate" Christmas. What’s up with that?
If you have never received the gift God placed in that manger in Bethlehem, you are only "observing" a holiday while pretending to "celebrate" Christmas. It gets even deeper: Until we're absolutely sure that we're on our way to Heaven as a result of the finished work that began with the gift God placed in that manger, our claiming to "celebrate" Christmas is the ULTIMATE HYPOCRISY. Ouch!! That was harsh! Well, think about it: it’s like randomly crashing a wedding reception and and taking part in the festivities, fraudulently "celebrating" for a couple we don’t even know, much less like! Strong words? No, not if you think about it. When our lives are over and you stand before the Lord (and you will) and He's gunna ask: "What did you do with the Gift I left for you in the manger in Bethlehem?" Do you really think that your phony celebrating, gift giving and other diversions will impress Almighty God more than your indifference to the very personal gift He sent you?
Did you ever wonder why mankind wants to celebrate Jesus' birth, and ignores His death?" That’s easy! Modern man sees the first as an excuse for "fun" while the other seems to suggest "sadness and responsibility." The "fun over sadness / responsibility" factor causes us to forget: the main reason Jesus was born in that manger was to grow up and die on a cross for our sins. Sure, He could have stayed in Heaven but His unconditional love for us, compelled Him to leave all that splendor, and come to earth to die the worst death that mankind (that He created) could conceive. You see, He loved us so much that He not only wanted to save us from the torments He prepared, not for mankind, but for Satan and his angels, and to be with Him forever in glory. Since God set up the ground rules from the beginning, without that Christmas gift, there was just no other way to save us from hell without breaking His own rules. (and FTR, God never breaks His Word)
The ultimate sacrifice for mankind could only work if that sacrifice was:
• Virgin born (no original sin)
• Completely sinless (not even one sin in His entire lifetime)
• Given willingly. No one “killed” or “murdered” Jesus; He laid His life down willingly.
Jesus shed all his blood to atone for (wash away - not just cover) all the sins of mankind.
Jesus did all that and more. Only when we realize and act upon those facts, can we truly "celebrate" Christmas. That's where the real joy comes from, and yes, you can feel it every day for the rest of your life!
When you realize that your simple acceptance of the above mentioned events, have changed your eternity from the flames and torments of hell, to the glories of Heaven, it WILL change both you, and your relationship to God, as well as to every other human being on the planet. When this happens, you will never be the same. Then and only then, will you know the true meaning of Christmas.
All alone in my car, fifty-one years ago, on Christmas day, 1969, at 4:30 PM in a heavy snowstorm, under a bridge in Indianapolis, I received the ultimate Christmas gift. I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Now the joy, peace, goodwill and love I used to “dial up” for the Christmas season is a permanent part of my life, that I feel 24-7-365 and a quarter. :o) You see, it never leaves when you actually receive the gift of Christmas. In fact, it gets better every day. Believe me, Jesus is the only gift that keeps on giving!
Salvation is both priceless and free. Priceless, because all the money and good works in the world could never pay for it; you don't automatically earn it by attending church. No, salvation is only free because Jesus already purchased it for us with his own blood. All that remains is for you to simply receive it. Yes! It actually is that easy! If you don't already personally know Him, pray this prayer right now:
Father God, I know I’m a sinner. I thought Christmas was just an excuse to celebrate while relying on my own goodness for justification. I completely ignored the fact that you really did send your Son, Jesus to pay the price I could never pay. For this, I am truly sorry. Lord Jesus, come into my heart and life, forgive my sins and create a new heart within me. I accept the gift for which you suffered so greatly. I receive You now by faith, as my personal Lord and Savior. My life is yours. I Thank You Father! In Jesus’ Name. Amen!
Now if you just prayed that prayer (and meant it)
You can have yourself a Real, Joyous, Meaningful, Blessed and of course,