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Christmas is Now Just Two Days Away!

For the privileged, Christmas becomes a time when all our “lackings” are ended. At least until we come up with some new ones.  For others, and perhaps the majority, our lackings seem insurmountable. The Christmas season reminds of what we do not have, who is missing; and the Madison Avenue manipulation of the Christmas season makes our deficiencies seem quite depressing. In other words, Christmas has a way of taking the joy out of Christmas.
But Christmas is supposed to be about the Father sending us a gift that ends all our lackings. In Christ we have reconciliation to God, the forgiveness of sins, and the promise of eternal life in his presence where pain, and sorrow, and death are no more. Scripture is God’s way of making sure that we have full knowledge of our gift before we receive it in its fullness.
While it is true that sometimes withholding knowledge of the gift that is coming increases the joy when it is received, that is not always the case. My wife already knows that I have purchased two tickets to see Gaelic Storm at the House of Blues during St. Patrick’s Day, and that the concert will also include a wonderful dinner beforehand.
Tess found out because of a wonderful app that our bank has which sends notifications to your phone (or, in this case – hers). I was really concerned when I realized this had happened, but Tess greeted me at the door when I came home with a huge hug and “Thank you!”  Knowing that this gift was already purchased, but not yet fully experienced still brought her great joy and expectation.  And while the Gaelic Storm concert will be awesome, it is nothing compared to the fact that,
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, EverlastingFather, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be

no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the
Lord of hosts will do this (Is. 9:6-7).
This is the great promise of hope given to a people about to go into exile. It is a promise, which was realized at the birth of Christ. The people had received the gift of hope they had been waiting for. This is the gift that we, too, have received. This is the gift that makes possible these words of Peter.
“According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:3-5).”
So, now that everybody knows what your Christmas present is…let the rejoicing begin, because your true “lackings” have ended! 
Your partner in the gospel,
Michael
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