The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings to ever one in western Illinois and all readers of The Quill. This now is the week of Christmas.
What is Christmas's mean'in?
Scripture sez - God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory - I Timothy 3:16.
So there is this to reflect on:
The Bethlehem Babe of the Manger became -
The calvary Savior of the Cross, who is -
The Resurrected Lord from the grave and is now -
The Ascended King in Heaven, soon to be -
The Returning Judge in Glory.
He became all of this so we can be -
The Reigning Saints in Glory forever!
Alleluia! What a Savior!
Does the commemoration of Christ's birth mean all of this to you? Or are ya satisfied with a manger scene of the Babe? Jesus is infinitely more than a baby in a manger.
He is the Savior who died ta save us from our sins.
However, his birth, death, and resurrection do us no good without our proper response. We must allow Him to be Lord of our life and take our directions from Him.
Many folk readily believe the Baby and Savior aspects of Jesus because that requires little of them.
But to acknowledge Him as Lord, and even as Judge, infringes on their rights too much. They want a soft Jesus, one that makes them feel good. Ta consider come'n under His gaze of accountability seems too harsh ta them.
All the attributes and titles given to Jesus in the scriptures are necessary for our eternal well-being. We must receive Jesus for who He is. Only then can we find the true mean'n of His birth, and Jesus will become to us all that is most comfort'n and blessed.
If'n we would reign as saints in glory forever, we must submit ta every aspect of Christ's person today: Baby, Savior, King, Lord and Judge.
God intended Christ's birth to be not an end in itself, but a great begin'n.
Christmas Peace and Goodwill
But, the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace - Psalm 37:11.
"Peace on earth, good will toward men", said the angels on the night Jesus was born. But, today, peace on earth is as elusive as ever. Imagine, if'n ya will, the angels conduct'n a survey ta learn the status of peace on earth. Their report might read something like this:
We have completed a thorough investigation of earth. Instead of peace and goodwill, we found discord and animosity. For example, we saw two deacons in a church arguing about how ta commemorate Christ's birth.
When we looked fer goodwill, we found greed and self-interest. On Christmas morn'in, one thirteen year-old boy screamed at his parents because they had bought him a four-wheeler rather than the dirt bike he had wished for.
We think peace on earth should be characterized by tranquility, but we saw the aisles of Wal-Mart crowded with jostling shoppers.
Long check-out lines were filled with irritated parents and whining children. Weary clerks processed credit card transactions that would leave shoppers more deeply in debt than ever.
We did find festive music and many twinkling lights, but it all seemed hollow. Where is the peace and goodwill that was predicted so long ago?
IN many places we found no trace of peace and goodwill, but here and there we did see them in hearts that are surrendered to the lordship of Jesus. We found these hearts experiencing deep and lasting peace even amidst worldwide turmoil.
The effects of such transformed hearts is rippling outward to change the atmosphere of homes and communities not only at Christmastime but every day of the year. They understand that the best is yet to come.
"It is enough; earth's struggles soon shall cease, And Jesus calls us to heav'ns perfect peace" - Edward H. Bickersteth
On a memorial card fer the funeral of a good friend who died last week of cancer, I read the follow'n good poem as a tribute to him:
No chance hath bought this ill to me;
"This God's own hand, so let it be,
He seeth what I cannot see,
There is a need - be for each pain,
And He one day will make it plain,
That earthly loss is heavenly gain.
Like a piece of tapestry
Viewed from the back appears to be
Naught but threads tangled hopelessly;
But in the front a picture fair
Rewards the workers for His care,
Proving His skill and patience rare.
Thou art the Workman, I the frame.
Lord, for the glory of Thy Name,
Perfect Thine image on the same.
There ya has it then. My friend was 69, and is survived by his wife, eleven children and spouses, 60 grandchildren, and 7 siblings.
His exemplary life was such that his funeral was attended by over 1200 folk!
He wrote a regular column such as this fer many, many years. He was a good farmer. He will be missed.
Wish'n ya all a Merry and Meaningful Christmas. Many thousand thanks to Delmar and Gary fer their thoughts toward this week's column.
Hope ta see ya in church this week, and remember - Wherever ya is, whatever ya be a do'n "BE A GOOD ONE!"
Keep on Smile'n
Catch ya later