Thursday, December 23, 2004

Christmas Greetings from the Heartland

I’ve been hesitating to get out in Emporia’s last minute madness ever since Nancy got back from her little foray about two hours ago. She “reported” that Wal-Mart is packed to the gunwales and things are a “mess” out there. But I have no choice. I’ve waited too long and now I’ve got to get out there and negotiate the 6th Avenue bottleneck and the mad crowds at Wal-Mart with about 20,000 other Emporians.

Before I do, though, I want to take a moment to wish you and yours the most lavish of Christmas blessings. Thank you for your support over the past few months. It has meant a great deal for me.

I won’t be posting now till after Christmas day. It’s time now to celebrate in earnest.

I’ll close out my holiday thoughts with a few excerpts from Oswald Chambers:

His Birth and Our New Birth

“Behold, a virgin shall bring forth a son and they shall call his name Emanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Isaiah 7:14)

His Birth in History. “Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Jesus Christ was born into this world, not from it. He did not evolve out of history; He came into history from the outside. Jesus Christ is not the best human being. He is a Being Who cannot be accounted for by the human race at all. He is not man becoming God, but God Incarnate, God coming into human flesh, coming into it from the outside. His life is the Highest and the Holiest entering in at the Lowliest door. Our Lord’s birth was an advent.

God manifest in the flesh - that is what is made profoundly possible for you and me by the Redemption.

And the angel answered and said unto her, the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore, also that holy thing which hall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35)

Just as our Lord came into human history from the outside, so He must come into us from the outside. Have we allowed our personal human lives to become a ‘Bethlehem’ for the Son of God?.....The conception of the new birth in the New Testament is of something that enters into us, not of something that springs out of us.”

Merry Christmas from the “heartland.” Enjoy your holidays. Celebrate them extravagantly! See you all next week.


Anonymous said...

Merry CHRISTmas to you and Nancy!

Tom Reindl said...

A blessed and peaceful Christmas to you I pray, Phil, and if it happens to be merry as well, then all the better. Take care brother.