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“I will hear what God the Lord will say;

For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones;

But let them not turn back to folly.

Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him,

That glory may dwell in our land.

Lovingkindness and truth have met together;

Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

Truth springs from the earth,

And righteousness looks down from heaven.” (Psalm 85:8-11)

To a child, it is surprising how slow Christmas comes and then how fast it is forgotten. By now most of the new toys are either broken or the batteries are dead. To the adults, it is surprising how much money is spent and how the plans for a new year diet is underway (soon).

The great tragedy of Christmas is, that as special as the season is, it is too quickly forgotten.

Culturally, Christmas is a most unique season. Even though there are many changes taking place such as the removal of nativity scenes on government property, Christmas concerts being replaced with winter concerts, and household debt continues to escalate, there is still a special feeling in the air. Most merchants still play Christmas carols, many still wish each other “Merry Christmas,” and most, at least, notice something about the birth of a Child in the little town of Bethlehem.

But what noticeably is lost in the busyness of this most wonderful time of the year is how quickly the church behaves more secular every year and how soon those who attended a Christmas Eve service give little interest to gathering the following Lord’s Day.

Throughout the entirety of the Bible there is either an announcement of a Messiah coming, a Messiah is here, or a Messiah is coming again.

The announcement of the most spectacular gift ever given by an eternal God and received by temporal man is like that of what the Psalmist described of when “lovingkindness and truth” or “righteousness and peace” meet together and form a refuge from the storm of sin. The promise of this Savior is only received with anticipation by those whom the Lord God Almighty has given eyes to see and ears to hear of their condition in which they clearly need to be saved from. This news is the greatest news the ears of temporal men could ever hear.

Unlike the quickness of the season changing and most forgetting of the news of a supernatural visitation from God, there is reason for you to stop and ponder again over that glorious day when God put on the clothing of men to save him from his sin. The Bible describes the multitude of angelic hosts having a great expectation for the salvation of men, yet most men will do little more than a head nod of recognition of this time splitting event.

My plea to you today is to look again to that glorious visitation of the Most High. O for a year of Christmas sermons of the incarnation of Almighty God. Your mind is quick to look forward to a new year and quickly begin looking away from the hope of Christ. We are prone to focus on the temporal day of goal setting, weight loss, better health, living debt free; all of which are worth setting a plan to do, but nothing is more demanding of your attention than the hope we have in Christ.

God only gives what is good. Why are you so easily distracted? Why chase after anything less?

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Rev. Paul Thompson is the pastor of the Eastside Baptist Church, 204 Eastland Drive N., Twin Falls.

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