Merry Christmas to everyone. My family and I have already had an eventful Christmas Eve morning. We are blanketed by a new coat of snow here in Burnsville, Minnesota. And we are having our kitchen remodeled, and yesterday one of the workers was working on our gas line in the kitchen. I woke up this morning to our home having a temperature in the 50's. With no hot water. And even our gas fireplace wouldn't start. I had no idea of what to do. So I did what any youngest child would do – I called my big brother. He is a saint, and came right over. He found out all of the gas lines were turned off, and he was able to turn them on, and re-lit all of the pilot lights. Yikes! Where we would be today without heat, no hot water (we have four females in our family, mind you), and a bad snow storm around us. May God bless my brother for rescuing us today.
Which brings me to Christmas. What do you think is humanity's biggest problem facing us today? What do we need to be rescued from? Could it be Global Warming? The Financial Crisis that we are in? Vikings Coach Childress and Brett Favre fighting? Well, God saw mankind's foremost problem – and it is Sin. Sin separates us from God, other people, and gives us the mindset of a sinner. Having the mind of a sinner is to think about things that your body craves – lustful thoughts, desires of wanting more things, and of course, the desire for power and fame and to be recognized as the special person that you are. A friend recently mentioned to me that all sin is centered on the human error of pride. I don't know if I agree with this, but that idea will have to hold for now, and perhaps be the subject of another post. The bottom line though is that sin is fun. It is desirable. And it ensnares us all.
And how did God go about solving humanity's problem of sin? Immanuel – God with us. He came to Earth, the Son of God born in a humble manger, and wrapped in swaddling clothes (what does swaddling mean? – sorry for my ADD moment). But it is an Angel that proclaimed so clearly this Good News/Gospel about the baby that was born:
The angel said to them, "Don't be afraid! I have good news for you, a message that will fill everyone with joy. Today your Savior, Christ the Lord, was born in David's city." (Luke 2:10-11).
And so, what was God's response to humanity's Sin-problem? He reached down and sent a Savior – His Son. This Savior lived the perfect life that we cannot. And He died on the Cross paying the debt that is owed for our sins. And by doing this, if we repent of our sinfulness and make Jesus our Lord, He also frees us from having to sin – sin no longer rules over the Christian. And the hope is that we start living our lives more and more like Jesus. What great news this is!
Merry Christmas - /s/Tom.