It’s Not the Gift Wrap, But the Gift (Part I)

Christmas Gifts 2

[All Scripture quotes are from the English Standard Version of the Christian Bible.]

By the time this blog post is sent out all the beautifully wrapped Christmas gifts, which took hours to wrap, after looking for just the right Christmassy gift wrapping paper and the perfect color ribbons and the “correct” size bows to accentuate the gift wrapping [not to mention the time spent looking for the constantly disappearing tape and the ever elusive pair of scissors], have been torn to smithereens [the gift wrapping, that is] in a matter of minutes. The shredded mound of wrapping paper have been shoved into a snow-white garbage bad with a red-ribbon pull-string and dumped outside for “Trash Day” pick-up [SIGH!].

believe god's love

Hopefully, everyone had a fun time opening their gifts and watching family and friends open their’s. Hopefully, everyone is happy with the gifts they have received on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day or Epiphany Sunday. I certainly am happy with all my gifts and I am thankful for family and friends who took the time to gift me with the things I needed or wanted. No matter how lovely and magnificent a gift can be, the excitement of getting that gift wears away as time goes on. However, if you have received “the Indescribable Gift” [See II Corinthians 9:15), Jesus Himself, He is the Gift that keeps on giving. Even when our excitement wears away, Jesus will “never leave [us] nor forsake us” [See Hebrews 13:5]. Jesus is our Forever “Friend who sticks closer than a brother” [See Proverbs 18:24].

baby inside Mom

During Advent and the Twelve Days of Christmas [ending on Epiphany Sunday] Christians celebrate the Annunciation: the announcement made by the angel Gabriel to a virgin named Mary telling her that she will bear God’s own Son. Christians also celebrate the Incarnation: the God of all creation born as a human Baby – Jesus is “God with skin on.” Jesus is our “Immanuel” or “God with us” [See Matthew 1:20-23]. *The God Who is not restricted by time and space, Who is all-knowing and all-powerful, Whose appearance to people [called Theophanous] in the Old Testament would make them scared out of their minds [See Exodus 33:20 and Habakkuk 3:3-4, 16], became a vulnerable little human Baby! This mind-blowing thought came home to me in a brand new way, sending shivers up and down my spine, when I received a family Christmas photo from a cousin of mine. After looking at her beautiful family on the front of the card, the card instructed me to turn the photo “over”. On the other side was a photo of an ultrasound of a family member’s unborn baby. It was a “WOW!” moment. Just think – that ultrasound was exactly what Jesus looked like wrapped in Mary’s womb. The very first Christmas Gift was also “wrapped in swaddling cloths” and the best Christmas Gift ever!

[*“Why Jesus Came – 28 Meditations for Advent (#3 To be Immanuel – God with us”); by Carol Parrington (not yet published)]

Book of Luke

“In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country…and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in [Elizabeth’s] womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women and blessed is the Fruit of your womb!’” [Luke 1:39-42].

book of matthew

“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us)” (Matthew 1:22-23; Also see Isaiah 7:14].

baby jesus in manger

“And while they were [in Bethlehem], the time came for [Mary] to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn Son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” [Luke 2:6-7].

Gospel of John

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” [John 1:1-5, 14].

CAMELS AND MAGIchrismas gold, incense and myrrh

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas [the Sunday nearest to January 6th], Christians celebrate Epiphany Sunday, commemorating the time the wise men [or Magi] visited Jesus, when He was about two years old. They gave Jesus gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh [See Matthew 2:1-12]. My friend Carol Purington writes this in her Advent Meditations: “Did these wise men understand the symbolism of their gifts? Gold for royalty, incense for deity, myrrh for mortality. Humans are born to die; we are sinners and therefore mortal – subject to the death penalty. But not this Baby, the Creator and Prince of Life, the Holy and Eternal God of the universe. Mortality had no power over Him. He experienced death only because He chose to die.” Did the wise men who followed the star that pointed them to the Baby Jesus and, in turn, pointed us to Jesus our Immanuel who suffered and died on the cross for us on Good Friday and rose from the dead on Resurrection Sunday? I believe God used them to do just that, whether they knew or not. Christmas is much more than a story about a Baby born in a cattle stall. That’s only the beginning of “the wonderful old story”. There is also the empty tomb. The wrappings of death could not keep Jesus in the grave!

Christ's hope

There’s more! Until next time, hoping for all of us to have a Blessed NEW YEAR!




What’s the Matter with Jesus? (Conclusion)

a chimpmunkDave Seville


[All Scripture references are from the English Standard Version of the Christian Bible.]

Christmas 2014 is almost here. Parents are wrapping up their children’s Christmas gifts while they are away at school or sleeping in their beds. Others are wrapping up their Christmas shopping by buying last minute stocking [or cheek] stuffers [If you’re Dave Seville or my sister Jane, don’t forget the walnuts! – inside joke for a later time.]. If you are like me, you have to do gift shopping at the last minute because you can’t wait to give out the gifts [Why wait until Christmas when I already have the gifts for you today?]. Once again, I am going to try and wrap up my blog series, “What’s the Matter with Jesus?” This time I am going to do it. I can feel it.


Christ's Transfiguration

Why did Jesus bring with Him Peter, James and John up to the “Mount of Transfiguration”? [See Matthew 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-13, Luke 9:28-36].

Peter, James and John seemed to be in Jesus’ inner circle. Each one appeared to have a closer relationship with Jesus because He took them with Him to places He did not take the other disciples. For example, when Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead Peter, James and John were the only ones allowed in the room [See Mark 5:37-43]. Also, Jesus took these three with Him “deeper” into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray with Him before His arrest and crucifixion [See Mark 14:33-42]. Peter, James and John were the only ones to see Jesus “greatly distressed and troubled”, at least during the times they weren’t sleeping [See vv. 37-38]. We know Peter as always running off at the mouth, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time and hardly ever thinking before speaking. For example, during the “Transfiguration”, “…Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good that we are here. If You wish, I will make three tents here, one for You and one for Moses and one for Elijah’” [Matthew 17:4]. This was not what Jesus had in mind at the time. Peter was still speaking when all three disciples fell to the ground in fear of what was happening right before their eyes and what they were hearing with their own ears. Jesus knew Peter needed extra “tutoring”, as well as prayers [See Luke 22:32]. James and his brother John appeared to be “mama’s boys” when they had their mother ask Jesus to give them a seat on each side of Him in His kingdom [See Matthew 20:2-28, Mark 10:35-45]. But Jesus knew there was more to James and John than met the eye. Jesus called them “sons of thunder” [See Mark 3:17]. We see an example of why Jesus chose this nick-name when Jesus was rejected by a Samaritan village. Luke 9:54 records, “And when His disciples James and John saw it, they said, ‘Lord, do You want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?’” It seems like Peter was not the only one with “foot-in-mouth” disease.

Gospel of John

In spite of their human frailties, Jesus picked Peter, James and John to be leaders and examples for His early Church. Later, John and Peter would write some of books in the New Testament. John wrote the Gospel of John, which is very different from the Synoptic Gospels. John who was once interested in fame and power, did not mention his name as its writer, but referred to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” [See 13:23, 19:26, 21:7]. The Gospel of John is about Jesus and His relationship with God, with creation, and with mankind: “In the beginning was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” [1:1-5]. The most quoted verse in the Bible is in the Gospel of John, which talks about God’s love for mankind and His desire and initiative in restoring people to a right relationship with Him: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” [3:16]. John also talks about God’s divine justice: “Whoever believes in Him [Jesus] is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” [3:18]. John’s purpose for writing the Gospel is “so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His Name”[20:31]. John also wrote three Epistles encouraging believers to keep walking in the light of Christ by loving one another, what it means to be children of God and correcting those who had wandered from the faith. Once again, John’s humility is evident by making no reference of himself in his first epistle; and in the second and third he identifies himself as an “elder.” Lastly, John wrote the Book of Revelation, in which he identifies himself as “His servant John” or just “John” [See 1:1,4]. The Book of Revelation gives us a taste of Jesus’ Second Coming; the rewards which will be given to those who believe in Jesus and “die in the Lord” [See 14:12-13]. John also warns those who do not believe what it will be like to be eternally separated from God [See 20:11-14].

casting crowns 1

Peter wrote two Epistles. I Peter encourages persecuted Christians to remember how Jesus suffered for them and to follow His example by trusting God and living holy lives. II Peter was written to encourage believers in the Truth, warn them of false teachers and wait patiently for the Day of the Lord [3:1-8]. James, the brother of John and the son of Zebedee, did not last long after Pentecost but was killed by Herod Agrippa I [See Acts 12:1-2]. Why would Jesus have James, the brother of John, in His inner circle only to die a martyr’s death? Humanly speaking, this is extremely difficult to comprehend. In my personal opinion [Remember, I am not a theologian, nor do I play one in cyber-space], Jesus knew that James would die an early death, and that was precisely why Jesus took him by His side and let him see a little of what heaven was like on the “Mount of Transfiguration.” I also believe James’ death strengthened the early Church and the resolve of Jesus’ followers to continue on with the mission He gave them to do: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” [Matthew 18:19-20].

[The other James was the “son of Alphaeus” [See Mark 3:18], or other Bible scholars believe he was Jesus’ brother, who is generally credited with writing the Book of James, in the New Testament, and who was an elder in the church in Jerusalem (See Acts 15:13-18). Jesus appeared to this James after His resurrection (See I Corinthians 15:7). For more study of Jesus’ inner circle, a good website to go to [which I used] is:].


Let’s backtrack a bit to when Jesus, Peter, James and John [the sons of Zebedee] were coming down from the “Mount of Transfiguration”. Jesus told them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead” and He also explained that John the Baptist was Elijah [See Matthew 17:9-13]. Later on, Peter wrote about his experience on the “Mount of Transfiguration”: “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eye witnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to Him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is My beloved Son, with Whom I am well pleased,’ we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with Him on the holy mountain” [II Peter 1:16-18).

Father, Son and Holy Spirit 2

Jesus took Peter, James and John and prepared them to do great things for the body of Christ, His Church, made up of all who came to believe in Him through their witness. These three apostles were mightily used of God beginning with Pentecost, especially Peter and John. Peter acted as spokesman for the apostles on the Day of Pentecost, in his magnificent sermon concerning the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. When people heard Peter’s powerful words, three thousand responded to the Holy Sprit and opened their hearts to Christ asking, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter responded, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” [See Acts 2:37-41]. In Act 3:1-10, Peter and John healed a man who was lame from birth. In the rest of chapter three, Peter delivered another Spirit-filled sermon, which led the religious leaders to stop and take notice. Acts 4:13 records, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized they had been with Jesus.” Peter and John’s boldness came from the special times they spent with Jesus, Who saw leadership qualities in them. He knew what they needed was the Gift of the Holy Spirit to make these qualities come to fruition.

Who was Jesus talking to when He said, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you?” [See Matthew 17:17, Mark 9:19, Luke 9:41]. Who was the “faithless and twisted generation” who frustrated God the Son? Was there any hope for them? Is there any hope for us?

Christ before the Sanhedrin

When studying a portion of Scripture, it is important to read it in context; read what happened before and what happened after the specific Scripture account being looked at. Taking all that we read in the past weeks, it’s obvious that Jesus was angry and frustrated with both the religious leaders and His disciples

Christ and disciples

He left behind to heal people [See Matthew 10:5-15, Mark 6:7-11, Luke 9:1-6]. When I use the word “frustrated” to describe Jesus’ words, I do not mean His will was “thwarted” or “hindered” in any way. His “frustration” came from seeing how sin controlled people’s hearts and knowing how much better it would be for them to repent and trust in Him by simply doing what He taught. He was angry and frustrated with the religious leaders because, of all people, they knew every “jot” and “tittle” of the Old Testament, including the prophecies regarding the Messiah. Yet, they refused to believe in Jesus because they did not want to give up their power over the people. Jesus was angered at their callous disregard for the suffering of the father and the boy with the “evil spirit”. They were more interested in arguing with Jesus’ disciples. Jesus was angry and frustrated with His disciples because they were not doing what He taught them to do. Instead, the disciples were more interested in bickering with the religious leaders. When the disciples asked Jesus, “Why could we not cast it out?”, Jesus answered, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer” [See Mark 9:28-29]. It was obvious to Jesus that the disciples did not have an “attitude of prayer” when they met the father and his tormented son. I Thessalonians 5:17 teaches, “pray without ceasing.” If the disciples had an “attitude of praying without ceasing”, they would have been able to see the needs of the father and his son as Jesus would. Instead of arguing with the religious leaders, they would be praying for them [See Matthew 5:44]. Having the mind of Christ [an attitude of prayer] is the only way to accomplish God’s will. The same goes for us. Instead of arguing with each other, we need to pray for each other “until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God” [See Ephesians 4:13].

One more question: Did Jesus give up on the disciples and the religious leaders of the day?

Jesus teaching Greeks

The answer is an emphatic “NO!” Luke 10:1-12 tells us that Jesus again sent out his disciples to tell others the GOOD NEWS of the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. This time, He was sending out seventy-two of His follows. Also, some of the religious leaders did come to faith in Jesus. For example, a Pharisee named Nicodemus may have come to faith as he listened to Jesus explain how to be “born


again” [See John 3:1-15]. Also, a scribe who was listening to Jesus teaching about “Which commandment was the most important of all” engaged in a conversation with Jesus and at the end of the conversation, Jesus said to the scribe, “You are not far from the kingdom of God” [See Mark 12:28-34]. Lastly, “Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus [after Jesus died on the cross]…and laid Him in a tomb” [See Mark 15:42-47].

marathon raceThe Lyd

Because Jesus did not give up on His first disciples and the religious leaders of the day, I know that Jesus will not give up on us. Jesus will not give up on me.

“And I am sure of this, that He Who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” [Philippians 1:6].

“He Who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it” [I Thessalonians 5:24].

As they say in the making of movies, “That’s a wrap!”

baby jesus in manger

“And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger” [Luke 2:12].

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under to law, so that they might receive adoption as sons [children]. And because you are sons [God’s children], God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father [Daddy]!’ So you are no longer a slave [to sin], but a son [child], and if a son [child], then an heir through God” [Galatians 4: 4-7].

May Jesus Himself be our Peace” at Christmastime and always! [See Ephesians 2:14-21]

footprints in the sand



What’s the Matter with Jesus (Part III)

birthday gifts

[All Scripture quotes are from the English Standard Version of the Christian Bible]

‘Tis the Season of wrapping up stuff. In the beginning of December, people are wrapping up eating the traditional Thanksgiving turkey by eating one last turkey sandwich and making mom’s heart-warming turkey soup, having a bowl or two, then storing the rest in the freezer for another cold winter‘s day. Students are wrapping up a whole semester’s worth of learning by taking final exams. Tax payers are wrapping up their charitable tax deductible giving to worthy and reputable non-profit organizations in order to claim the deductions on this year’s income taxes. If it’s not done yet, northerners are putting away lawn furniture and grills and wrapping up winterizing their homes. Last, but not least, many of us are wrapping up Christmas and Hanukkah presents to put under the tree or in a safe hiding place until the Special Day. Since everyone is in a “wrapping up” mood, I am going to attempt to wrap up my previous blog posts by answering the questions I put out there for you to ponder. Here goes:

What happened to cause Jesus to want to get away and go up to the mountaintop? [See Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36]


Except for early morning times with His Heavenly Father, Jesus was constantly with His disciples for a little over two years, teaching them about His Father and His kingdom. For example, in what is known as “The Sermon on the Mount” [Matthew 5-7], Jesus taught the disciples, as well as crowds who listened, “The Beatitudes” – the heart-attitudes God desires His children to live by. Jesus taught them how to be “salt” in the world which needed God to preserve them from the ravages of sin. Jesus gave them His Word which would become their light to point the way for others to find God. Jesus taught them that He was the Christ, the fulfillment of the Law and the Savior they had been waiting so long for. Jesus taught them how to deal with anger and lust, how God felt about divorce and making false promises. He preached the way of peace; they were not to retaliate for the wrongs done to them, but to love and pray for their enemies. Jesus taught them how to pray by giving them “The Lord’s Prayer” and by allowing them to listen to Him when He prayed many times a day to His Father. Jesus talked to them about fasting and “lay[ing] up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth nor rust destroys and thieves do not break in and steal [6:20]. Jesus taught them how to deal with anxiety by trusting God to meet their every need, just as He does with the lilies of the fields and birds of the air. He said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” [7:7]. He talked about not judging others, but also to beware of false prophets. Instead of listening to the world’s idea of happiness, Jesus urged them to listen to Him: “Everyone then who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock” [7:24]. Matthew ends chapter 7 with this: “And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at His teaching, for He was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes” [vv. 28-29].

Christ and disciples

There were times when Jesus taught the crowd in parables, such as in the “Parable of the Sower” [Matthew 13:1-15, Mark 4:1-14, Luke 8:4-10], the “Parable of the Seed Growing” [Mark 4:26-29] and the “Parable of the Mustard Seed” [Matthew 13:31-35, Mark 4:30-32, Luke13:18-19], just to name a few. Jesus taught forty-six parables to the crowds who gathered to hear Him speak, but He only explained His parables to His disciples. The Gospel of Matthew explains why: “Then the disciples came and said to Him, ‘Why do you speak to them in parables?’ And He answered them, ‘To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand” [13:10-13]. Also, Matthew 13:34-35 explains, “All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, He said nothing to them without a parable. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet: ‘I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world;’” [Also see Psalm 78:2]. The “they” Jesus was referring to were the religious leaders of the day; the ones who should have known who Jesus was – the Messiah, the Savior of the world.

CAMELS AND MAGIChrist before the Sanhedrin

When Jesus was born, Magi from the east came to ask Herod, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” [See Matthew 2:1-2]. Herod asked this question to the chief priests and scribes, and they answered, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel’” [See Matthew2:3-6, Micah 5:2]. Why didn’t the high priests and scribes join the Magi and rejoice with them in finding the long-awaited Messiah? Back then and throughout Jesus’ ministry, the religious leaders refused to believe in Jesus and no amount of explaining would have changed their minds. They refused to give up the stranglehold they had on the people they were meant to serve. Instead of wasting His time with them, Jesus ministered to His disciples and those in the crowds who had been given the faith to believe and follow Him. Although, at times, His followers were clueless of the BIG PICTURE and slow to learn, they knew Jesus was from God.

casting crowns 1casting crowns 2

People listened to Jesus’ teachings because, unlike the religious elite, Jesus “talked the talk” and “walked the walk” and this infuriated those were in power. Jesus’ friends were fishermen, tax collectors, “sinful” women, lepers, and all the disenfranchised groups that were thought of as “unclean” and undeserving. Jesus’ answer to why He chose “those people” to be His friends is found in Matthew 9:10-13: “And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ But when [Jesus] heard it, He said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, “‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.”’ ‘For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners’” [Also see Mark 2:15-17, Luke 5:27-32, Hosea 6:6]. Jesus was not “stressed” to impress anyone. Jesus was not a “people pleaser” but a “God-pleaser”. His food and drink was to do His Father’s will (something to think about during this Season of Advent) [See John 4:31-34].

Crhist Synogogue Rulera healing touch 2cHRIST HEALING PARALYTIC

One would think that all of Jesus’ preaching and teaching along with all of the opposition He faced from the religious leaders would be enough cause for Jesus to want to get away and have some time alone on a mountaintop. However, Jesus did much more than preach and teach. He did much more. Jesus knew about mercy. Matthew 9:35-38 records, “And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to the disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest’” [See also Matthew 4:23-25, Mark 53-56].



Matthew 10:1 and 8 tell us, “And [Jesus] called to Him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction…Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons” [See also Mark 6:7-13, Luke 9:1-6]. After teaching His first disciples by His own example, Jesus specifically gave them the authority and power to do all He sent them out to do. They were to demonstrate to everyone that God was doing something new in their midst. They were to continue to do these signs and wonders, while Jesus took Peter and James and John up to the “Mount of Transfiguration” [See Matthew 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-13, Luke 9:28-36].

cat wrap

Wrapping up is hard to do. [Maybe next time]

baby jesus in mangera spirit of truth

“The true Light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God…” [John 1::9-12].

My prayer is that Jesus will illumine our hearts this Christmas and always.

The Lyd