We have had a lot of Christmas excitement here at Bethany Baptist Church. We have eaten at the Pastor’s home, eaten at church, and had our annual “Name the tune” Wednesday evening service. We have exchanged cards and gifts, presented Christmas programs at church and at the nursing home, in which we have sung just about every Christmas song we know. We are looking forward to a New Year filled with more good fellowship and praises to the Lord from whom all good things come.
During the course of the last week, Jill Johnson, Nina Carter, David Babish, Jim Corder, and Pastor Bob Sorensen stopped by the home of Norma Stillings either to do business for the Support the Handicapped Board, Douglas County C.H.A.R.T., or to help Norma with getting furniture and the piano moved back into the Living Room. Things look a lot better there now.
With all that, perhaps we need to consider the true meaning of Christmas. When the angels visited the shepherds, who were out in the fields near Bethlehem, their message to the shepherds was, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people, For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord…” and concluded with all the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” What a wonderful gift was given that night, but we look around and ask, “Where is the peace and the goodwill?” Certainly peace and goodwill are not universal on the earth. Then we ask, “Why?”
The problem is that the gift of a Savior that was offered was refused by the majority of individuals and leaders that crucified Him, and by every generation of individuals and leaders since then. Maybe this was because they did not want a savior that was concerned with moral purity and forgiveness for sin; or perhaps they just did not believe that Jesus was really the Son of the only living God. So the universal peace that we desire has not come, and will not come until Jesus Christ himself returns with all the power to make it so. But we individually may have that “Peace” if we accept the gift of a “Saviour” that was offered (Which is available to the believer for the asking). Not only can we enjoy forgiveness, peace, and joy now, but we have wonderful promises for a future in heaven.