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Friday, December 21, 2012

Cancel Christmas?

Christmas, the time for comfort and joy, has become clouded in grief as our nation considers the tragedy surrounding the school shooting in Conneticut.  As mourning families bury their young children, many ask where was God?  If He is a loving God, then why didn't He intervene?  As one grieving resident in the small town said, "Christmas has been cancelled."

Every talking head seems to have an answer for the problems that plague our nation:

What about increasing funding for mental institutions?  More surviellance, programs,and medications could potentially keep lunatics from shooting children in schools. 

Others advocate gun control. Will a law prevent guns from getting into the hands of the evil, deranged people?   Or is better to put the guns in the hands of every teacher?

What about prayer in schools?  Is Huckabee right?  How dare we, ask where is God in the school tragedy when America has shut God out of everything in the classroom.  Although Huckabee's response should cause introspection, it is still incomplete.  Legislation cannot keep God out of schools--He's already there.

Here's another issue to ponder?  What about the silent death of over 3500 innocent unborn children in our country every day that many call an American holocaust?  We seldom hear anyone in the media mention the abortion crisis in our nation.

Christmas day twenty years ago, our surgical team labored to save the lives of five innocent children killed in a drive by shooting. Several weeks ago I had to tell a mother suffering with metastatic gastric cancer, that she would be leaving her husband and three teenage boys this Christmas. It's hard to understand why such tragedies occur. I have concluded that we will never understand on this side of heaven exactly why evil and suffering are allowed to exist.

Centuries ago, Herod the great tried to cancel the first Christmas.  He decieved, lied and ultimately murdered many innocent children trying to suppress God's will.  Motivated by pride and power, Herod ordered a massacre of all the boy toddlers in Bethlehem, attempting to stop the coming of the Christ.  Yet even Herod's schemes could not cancel Christmas.

God knew in eternity past the events surrounding the first Christmas,  prophecying six hundred years earlier that the massacre would occur.  He could have given us a political answer.  He could have stopped Herod's mass murdering of innocent children just as easily as He could have prevented the school tragedy in Conneticut.  Yet, He didn't!   Why?

God had a solution far more comprehensive than any remedy mankind could imagine.  God's solution did not involve politics, policies or programs. His answer was a Person, wrapped in swaddling clothes, sleeping in a manger.

Despite opposition, God brought the remedy to our world--personally.  The plan, materialized at the birth of Jesus, would ultimately deal with all evil and sin in the the human heart.  True reform must begin with a change of heart.  Through the suffering and death of his innocent Son, God provided a remedy for evil, giving purpose to suffering, meaning for life, and hope for the future. 

Like watching the scenes unfold in a movie, we must remember that we are somewhere in the middle of this eternal drama. When the curtain of history closes, the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of God, all evil will we squelched and peace on earth will be established.  Everyone will confess that history was "His story."  For believers--when the roll is called up yonder--We win!

Although it's been tried many times, many ways over the past two millenia, Christmas cannot be canceled.  Nothing can suppress God's plan to defeat evil, bring hope, offer forgiveness, provide purpose and establish real peace in our world.  There is nothing that can cancel Christmas.

O come Emmanuel.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Free Book

If you are interested Deborah Bateman is giving away a free bible study of Ezra on Amazon that can be downloaded on you Kindle.

The Book of Ezra: A Story of Provision and Protection

 Kevin Smith a Kansas lawyer also has a fiction legal thriller that can be downloaded onto Kindle as well-- free on 12/6 and 12/7
.Broken: A Story of Hope and Forgiveness