Wednesday, December 21, 2005

fwd:Merry Christmas!

This time of year -- and especially this year -- it is very easy to get mixed up in the glitz and glamour that Christmas has become and forgot what the holiday actually means.

The following email from best-selling author Ted Dekker states in very clear language what I hope you will remember as you celebrate this weekend.

Merry Christmas!


-----Original Message-----
From: "Ted Dekker"
Sent: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 11:41:00 -0500
Subject: Merry Christmas!

Dear Friends,

Once again we find ourselves confronted by Christmas, and if you're anything like me, you have mixed emotions about a season that brings hope to so many while at the same time being mocked by so many others.

In some parts of our nation the manger scene depicting our savior's birth is now ridiculed in favor of a Santa Clause statue. In other parts the mere mention of Christ in a Christmas parade causes sweeping offense. There are those who would undoubtedly seek to replace this very special holiday with paraphernalia unrelated to the birth of our Lord. Indeed, it seems that Christmas is being methodically stripped of Christ.

But for those of us who's lives have been transformed by the indescribable power wrapped up in those swaddling clothes some two thousand years ago, celebrating anything other than the birth of Jesus makes about as much sense as exchanging all that we have gained in Christ for a mouthful of cotton candy.

For us, Christmas means new birth. This season speaks of a living hope for a time when all of our pains and sorrows will be swept away by unrelenting waves of joy and bliss. During the coming weeks I urge you to fix your minds on the greatest gift ever conceived by man or God, the gift of life and power and laughter and pleasure and peace offered freely by a Savior born in Bethlehem.

Isn't that why we give others gifts? Don't we mean to say, "Accept this token of God's goodness to you from me, and remember that it’s only a dim reflection of the gift that Christ has given you in rebirth and just a foretaste of the incomparable gift that awaits you in heaven."

So be thoughtful as you navigate the many distractions and affronts to your faith this Christmas season. When you sing your songs, think of God's gift to you. When you decorate your home, think of the dazzling world that he's preparing for you. When you sit at your table surrounded by friends and family and enough food to feed the whole world, think of Jesus' passion for the lost and his inexhaustible favor for you.

And whatever else you do during this time of celebration, remember that when you give a gift it has rich, uncompromising meaning, because in it's own small way it represents a gift that, however misunderstood by the world, is life itself to those of us who believe.

May God bless you richly,
Ted Dekker

This email was transmitted by echomusic on behalf of Ted Dekker:
1101 17th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212

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