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The dog who stole Christmas

December 2012 | by Roger Carswell

The dog who stole Christmas

Wise men came from the East to worship Jesus and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Myrrh seems a strange gift, for it was used to anoint a dead body!
    But Jesus was born to die, and, by his death and resurrection, he paid the penalty for the sins of which we are guilty. As the Bible puts it: ‘God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’
    ‘All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all’. Don’t let this real meaning of Christmas be stolen from you.
    What God wants of us is to do what the shepherds and wise men did. In our hearts and minds we can come to the living Jesus and trust him. Ask Jesus to become your Lord, Saviour and Friend.
    Start to follow him. You will find that whatever difficulties life might throw at you, you can know God now and throughout eternity! Now, that is too good an offer to allow anything, or anyone, to take from us.

Dismay

It was Christmas morning. A family set off to go to church. They loved singing the carols and hearing the Christmas story again.
    On returning, to their horror, they saw their dog sitting on the drive, licking its lips. At its feet were the remains of a huge turkey. Christmas had become a dog’s dinner!
    Furious and upset that their meal had been devoured, they wondered what to do. Then one of the children asked how the dog managed to open the oven to get the turkey. They quickly ran inside to find the answer. Surprised, they discovered the oven door closed and their turkey still inside.
    To their dismay, they realised that their dog had stolen and eaten a neighbour’s turkey. They didn’t dare take the dog for a walk for several weeks!
    Most of us love Christmas, but the pressure to prepare for it can easily rob us of and devour the main reason for our celebration. So how about taking a few moments now to be reminded of things that really did happen twenty centuries ago?
    
Delight

God came into the world he had made, to bring people back into a friendship with him. We read in the Bible that ‘the Word became flesh and dwelt among us’; Jesus was ‘in the form of God … but made himself of no reputation … coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross’.
    Long before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah said, ‘Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which is translated, God with us’. Centuries later, an angel of the Lord announced to Joseph that his fiancée Mary ‘will bring forth a Son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins’.
    The Bible tells us why Jesus came to earth: ‘For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and the living’.
Roger Carswell

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Evangelistic