Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Christmas Story

The Christmas Story

By Patty Hunter
December 10, 2006
Copyrighted ©
Edited by Bob Hunter
I updated this story on November 21, 2009

The Christmas Story

Over 2000 years ago, Jesus, Son of God, came down from Heaven and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, became man, of whom the Blessed Virgin, named Mary, gave birth. Both Mary and Joseph, who were from the House of David, became engaged when she was a young woman. During that time, the Angel of the Lord came to her one night and said to her that she will bear a son, called Emmanuel, The Son of Peace, and He will bring a double-edged sword into the world, one side of the sword being salvation to His people, the other, death and damnation to the evil and unbelievers.

This is what I remember about the story of the birth of our King:

Thus, when after the Angel of the Lord spoke to Mary, the Holy Spirit came down from Heaven and made Mary pregnant with our Lord. Although she was a sinner, she had found favor unto God, and God had blessed Mary with the greatest gift of all. The King of Kings, Lord of Lords, was soon to be born into the world, to fulfill what the Holy Scriptures had foretold.

Jesus was to be called, "Son of God and Son of Man," thus fulfilling what the prophets had written. The Prophets had ended with Jesus' cousin, John, The Baptist. John was the "Voice of one crying in the Wilderness" who first baptized many.

Now, when Joseph had found out that the Virgin Mary was with child, he was scared of what would happen to her. You see, in those days, an unwed mother was stoned to death. And, because of shame, Joseph then planned on sending Mary away.

But, whilst Joseph was sleeping that night, the Angel of the Lord came into Joseph's dream and told him thus, He said do not be ashamed of the Virgin Mary, for she has indeed been chosen to give birth to our Creator's Son, Jesus and that God had found favor in Mary. So right after he woke up, Joseph took the Virgin and wed her. Joseph did not touch her, for he knew she was pregnant with the Holy Child. (For it was the Holy Spirit that made the Virgin Mary pregnant.)

When Mary began showing, she went to her cousin, Elizabeth. Now, Elizabeth was with child herself and she was six months along. When Elizabeth saw Mary, Elizabeth’s child leaped with joy inside. Elizabeth and her husband, Zechariah, would call their son, John. Elizabeth said that truly the Virgin Mary was blessed amongst all women. Mary went home to be with Joseph. After that they found out that they had to go to Bethlehem for the census, for Joseph's and Mary's lineage was from there.

When, they arrived in Bethlehem, with Mary riding on a donkey, she started going into labor. They had to find a place soon for she was due to give birth anytime. They went to an inn but had been refused a room and then turned away. But, as they started to leave, the owner of the inn said that he had a barn and, that Joseph and Mary could go there to rest. That night, Jesus was born.

Now, in those days, King Herod of Israel was reigning over the land. And, when the wise men came to him, they had mentioned the star, and, of the birth of the Messiah. King Herod, cunningly told the wise men to tell him when they found the child, then to come back to him and let him know where Jesus was, so, that he, King Herod, could bow down and worship Jesus. But all the while, King Herod had secretly planned to kill Jesus. But the Angel of the Lord warned the wise men about this plan and they didn't return to King Herod.

When baby Jesus, was born, Angels appeared from Heaven and shouted:
"Glory to God on High, glad tidings for the people on Earth,” for Emmanuel has been born.

Several Shepherds who were minding their flocks that night had seen the angels and were very afraid. But then they were told not to be afraid, for the Lord on High was made man, for the Lord Jesus was here on Earth to give sinners salvation onto them. Those same shepherds then went to where Jesus was born. Here the bright and shining star was over the barn where the Virgin Mary and Joseph were with the baby Jesus. Jesus was then placed into a manger after he was born.

Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes when he was born. Mary rested soon after the birth of our Jesus. Joseph and Mary called their child, Jesus, who is our Messiah, Emmanuel, Prince of Peace and Lord of Lords, King of the unending Kingdom. Son of Man and Son of God, the Lord be praised now and forever. He came down from Heaven and was made man to save us all. Oh, He granted us salvation for we are all sinners and only through our Christ Jesus can we eternally live in Heaven with God, Him and the Holy Spirit.

When the wise men finally found the child called Jesus, they offered Him, gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gold for his Royal Highness, fragrances for prayers of sinners and, myrrh for the future burial as foretold in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Adam was the old and Jesus was the New Adam. Jesus is the Firstborn of God and no one else can take His place. Adam was the firstborn of the old man and Jesus was born Firstborn of the New man. Jesus has fulfilled His promises in the Bible.

Now, it came to pass that not all of the people of this Earth of ours became believers when they were told of Jesus' coming. Many turned away from our Lord Messiah. They turned their backs. But, many did believe. Jesus said the road to Heaven is narrow but the road to hell and damnation is broad, and many will go there. That is what Jesus meant of being a double-edged sword. He will love His children but reject the unbelievers who spurned Him. May God bless his people. His adopted sons and daughters will live forever with Him, Who is God in three persons, blessed Trinity. Amen.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Sainthood by Jim Lamb of Lutherans For Life


Greetings fellow saints,

When I was still in parish ministry, we put “All Saints” on the sign in front of our church when we were observing All Saints Day. The nun from our local Catholic church saw me uptown and said, “I noticed your sign. I didn’t know you guys had saints.” I replied, “At St. Paul, we are all saints.” She smiled a little half smile that politely said “Huh?” and continued walking.

Martin Luther helped us understand the Scriptural truth that sainthood is not something you earn by your deeds and prove by attesting miracles. Sainthood is God’s declaratory gift in Jesus Christ (Romans 3:21-26). Sainthood is not the result of holy living but of the holy life and death of Christ. Sainthood, however, does result in holy living as we declared saints strive to be obedient to the will of the holy One.

All Saints Day can fill us with comfort and hope as we remember the faithfully departed who have joined the saints triumphant in Heaven. All Saints Day can also fill us with comfort and hope as we think of our many sins, especially those that leave a burden of regret upon our hearts that just keeps nagging away. For we are reminded that sainthood does not depend upon the absence of regret or even feeling forgiven. It depends upon the presence of the abundant grace of God in Christ. Sainthood is the objective fact of forgiveness not a subjective feeling of being forgiven.

Such objective sainthood is a powerful message to share with those whose heart is wounded because of the sin of abortion. If that someone is you, please take this message to heart. If you know of someone who needs to be reminded of their sainthood, please share this message with them.