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Length of Days - Search for Freedom

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Unto Us

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

What did you get for Christmas? I received God's son: His love, His forgiveness, His grace, His peace and His song. Why have we not learned --- the one who gave the most, the biggest, the most precious ... was God?

The true meaning of Christmas is giving, not receiving. The real joy of Christmas is seeing the light in another's eyes when you give them a gift. The real "magic" of Christmas is in finding the miracle of love. The only gift of Christmas is Christ the child, the son of God. And, yes, the King of Kings was given for you, for me, and for all of us. Let us pray:

"Father God, Abba - Daddy, I crawl upon your lap as a tiny child, and breathe in the essence of your sweetness. You are pure Love. With your love you created all there is, and nothing that is was not yours first. I was yours before I was born. When you gave me life, you gave me the freedom to choose life or death. Your precious son, Jesus, taught me how to live in you and you in me. There is no gift more perfect than Jesus. For His love and life, I give you thanks. Forgive me for the times when I forget how to live my life in you. May this Christmas day, when we celebrate the birth of Love, be the day I live a life of your peace. In the name of Jesus, the babe of the manger I pray. Amen"
"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2016 Doris Gaines Rapp

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Friday, December 9, 2016

In Those Days

“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.”... And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the City of David called Bethlehem, since he was from the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to him in marriage ad was expecting a child.”   Luke 2:1 and 3-5 (NIV)

The story of Christmas, the birthday celebration of our Lord Jesus Christ, starts with a statement of fact, a link to actual history—“In those days…” not, “Once upon a time.” The addition of a jolly elf whose purpose is to bring joy and happiness to all the children of the world, and his flying reindeer, a species of Rangifer tarandus, known in North America as Caribou, is a fun story that allows the shifting of generosity from the child’s parents to Santa Claus. One story is anchored in history and the other is a once upon a time story floating in fantasy. Always remember, there is only one reason for Santa Claus to have a motive for sharing joy—because joy, peace, love, and song came to earth in the form of a tiny baby over two thousand years ago.

This year, help your children to be “givers’ rather than “takers.” They can give gifts of service, helping family and neighbors by doing jobs within their age ability, and gifts of love, visiting aged grandparents and friends. They can let the Baby Jesus shine through them, bringing others to the manger of love. Love and joy are what the season is all about. Children of all ages can understand that.

The miracle of Christmas is not an elf. It’s the presence of angels who announced to the world that we no longer need to be afraid. Jesus has entered the world, and specifically has entered our own lives. He will always bring to our hearts the song heard on a silent hillside—Hallelujah, the son of God is born to you…and to even me. Rather than a list of I-wants, help your children write a list of I-gives. Every time they hear a bell ring, they can know that another angel has announced in song that the Christ child is in their heart, ringing out a song of peace and love. Let us pray:

“Holy Father, love divine, you shine your star-light above my home every Christmas and miraculously, on the homes of everyone who believe in you. Every time I hear a bell ring, may I remember that your son, Jesus, came into the world to bring joy and forgiveness, and to remind me to love and serve you. Forgive me when I have been an I-want child of Santa’s rather than an I-will child of the Child of Christmas. Let me be a part of bringing your joy and love to earth this Christmas. In the name of your son, Jesus, our savior, and the true reason for Christmas, I pray. Amen”
"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2016 Doris Gaines Rapp