God's perpetual gifts

Some years ago I began to sense that my preparations for the holiday season lacked something essential. Baking cookies, taking Scout troops to carol for shut-ins, planning festive events for family friends, and dashing about with lists of presents only sharpened the awareness that something vital and precious was missing. It became obvious that, however idealistic, human goodness of itself couldn't supply the joy that Christ Jesus said would remain in us. See John 15:11.

I began reviewing the Bible passages related to the Christmas story, including the Old Testament prophecies fulfilled by Jesus' coming. Isaiah, for instance, beheld the Messiah as the Prince of Peace and declared, "Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end." Isa. 9:7. The book of Malachi speaks of the divine presence as heralded by "the messenger of the covenant." Mal. 3:1. Here, I saw, was the assurance of man's unity with God, implied in the divine record of creation in Genesis 1. The steps of scriptural revelation, covering centuries, began to fall into place. Finally came God's supreme gift to mankind of His beloved Son; the eternal Christ, Truth, was revealed through the life and teachings of Jesus.

Though I'd read and pondered these accounts many times, the significance of the Christ as Saviour of the world now began to glow with new meaning. I understood that God's benevolence couldn't be seasonal, because the Christ is always at hand to bring lasting joy and peace.

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Christmas sings to you
December 14, 1981

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