So many thoughts and emotions flood me as I endeavor to write this letter. I have really longed to write it for long time, but so many doubts and fears seemed to keep it from being written, until today.
Today this is my Christmas gift for you. To push past the “what ifs” – what if I mess it all up, what if they don’t like it, what if …. – and today I simply write.
I write about the gift that has lain dormant for centuries, waiting, just waiting, for you, my dear friend, to find it and unwrap it and find… just what you shall soon see.
It all starts with a baby. You may think you know the story, but there are different kinds of knowing. I know the story of Christopher Columbus, but that is a very different kind of knowing than knowing my daughter, or my husband.
The story is here, in a book that has been around for over 2000 years, a sound historical document that has more proofs to it’s authenticity than any other ancient manuscript. In Luke, chapters one and two, it tells that a baby is born, and His name is Jesus.
And there, right there, it gets really scary for so many of us, because we’ve heard the claims and we now have to decide, where in our brains and hearts do we put this story? In the library catalogue of our minds do we file it under fact, or fiction? Fiction is a whole lot easier because then it is a nice fairy tale and no real world response to a fairy tale is needed…but neither can a fairy tale heal our loneliness, heartbreak and pain in the real world. There’s no power to change lives in fantasy. It only can be sometimes used as an escape to dull the pain we face in our real world.
The “good news of great joy for all people” as proclaimed by the angel sounds awesome. But if Christ is the Savior who will save us from our sins, we have to process and accept the Bible’s teaching that there is a judgement for our sins. And that is scary. But that is exactly why Jesus came.
This Christmas I would like to tell you about a very real world Jesus. Please don’t run away. It is the best treasure I have to offer you and is worth more to me than anything in this earth, even more than my family, which is saying a lot.
When something is true and real, whether a person believes it or not doesn’t change the fact that the thing exists. I may choose not to believe you exist, but that does not change the fact that you are indeed alive and quite real.
There is the Jesus of the Bible, a historical person, Who, according to history, was born, died a cruel, tortuous death, and then rose from the dead.
Lee Strobel was an atheist who set out to prove once and for all that Jesus’ resurrection from the dead was just a myth. He was an investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune that had won awards for his work. If you question whether or not Christ rose from the dead, please read his book, The Case for Christ. It goes through all the logical arguments against Christ’s resurrection and is a very interesting and informative read.
Another good book is What if Jesus had Never Been Born by Dr. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe. It speaks of the catalytic changes that occurred in our world because of the man Jesus Christ.
For 2000 years Christians have held to Christ’s command to baptize in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They baptized infants as soon as possible because of Christ’s words, “You must be born again.” (…born of both water and the Spirit. John 3:3-5) Also, because of Jesus’ words to allow the little children to come to Him and forbid them not, for such is the kingdom of heaven.
I believe the Bible that God does a miracle through water and faith. That the most amazing creation takes place and God breathes His life into us and we become someone new on the inside, alive to God, where before there was nothing that could unite us to God for eternity. We are born into God’s kingdom and are now children of God. Because of Adam’s sin, all people are born spiritually still born, dead in our sins. We need to receive God’s gift of life to live spiritually. Sin is disobedience to God’s laws to love Him and love our neighbor. We sin because we are born with a sinful nature.
Some people think the way to heaven is to be a good person and to do good works, but only Jesus was without sin. Also God’s love is bigger than just loving good people. He loves bad people too and is compassionate towards us because He sees all the horrible things that happened to us and knows why we are sinful and bad. And He loves us. Really, really loves us. Even if we curse God, He loves us. Even if we hurt other people and refuse to forgive, He loves us. He loves us in spite of our adultery, our sexual immorality, our greed, our pride. He loves sinners so much, God sent Jesus to die for them. So good works will not ever get you to heaven, because that is not the Way God chose for people to get there. You have to accept His gift. Jesus is the Only Way to the Father. And He loves you and invites you to come to Him.
Today as I write, I have great anguish and pain in my body and soul, because so many people I know do not have and have not had this great amazing love given by God. Once we accept God’s truth, we must find a godly church and be fed God’s gifts of body and blood and of the Word to be healthy. In God is a true safe place. But it doesn’t allow sin, it forgives it. God’s love has been traded at times for worldly lusts and pleasures, stolen by the enemy, the devil, who has no qualms through his lies of raping the innocent who would trust in God. We need to pray daily to God to help us recognize these lies and through the Word and godly teaching accept the truth God gives.
Every person born into this world is of infinite value and worth, but Satan devalues human lives by putting up petty gods that take the place of the Love of God we are given. So we have fathers who are too broken to stay the course, mothers too bitter to learn the respect their man needs. Our world is broken and in dire need of a Savior.
And into this broken world a baby is born. A gift is given. A promise thousands of years old is fulfilled.
I’ve seen God’s power. He answers my prayers. (Sometimes He says no. Sometimes my sin and unbelief blocks the yes He longs to give.)
As a teen God healed my curved spine that was about to get a brace. After prayer the curve went from 18 degrees to 6 degrees. My New York doctor had no explanation to give and my mom just gently said the elders had prayed for me.
I have suffered depression and an auto immune disease for much of my life and for whatever reason those things were not instantly removed, but through it all I have seen Jesus’ glory, beauty and grace revealed in one amazingly patient husband and three beautiful, loving girls.
Jesus is real. He forgives my innumerable sins. He loves me. And this real Jesus loves you, suffered the cross for you so you would never be in your pain alone, and longs for you to know Him and to accept His gift of eternal life.
Will you consider taking some steps towards opening His Gift today?
Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Find a godly pastor to baptise you. Read the Bible.
Visit a Christian, God fearing church this Christmas and upcoming New Year. Bethlehem Lutheran Church at 21st and Wadsworth is where we go and we love it there, but any church that believes the Bible, believes in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, has sound doctrine and lives the love of God will be a great place to be fed God’s love – and to return love to God! We go to church to thank Him for His love and to sing praises to Him. Yeah, no church is perfect. Neither are you or me, so we should fit right in.
Listen to a Christian music station to hear God’s love.
Find a devotional that shares God’s grace to read from each day.
And every day, think, just think about how special you must be and how loved for the heavenly Father to send His Only Son to die for you. He has made a place for you in heaven where there will be no more tears or pain or sorrow. Just be sure to open His gift.
Many churches have introductory courses where you can learn the foundations of the faith.
If you have questions or want to speak with someone about this, email me and I will see what I can do to help.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most Sincerely and in Christ’s love,