true heart red

Darlene Pankonin and her band of merry helpers did a tremendous job in putting together a Christmas pageant with a powerful presentation of the gospel. It was well attended and well received. The greatest of all gifts are not found prepared for us under a Christmas tree, but rather presented to us hanging from a cruel tree; not wrapped in paper and ribbon, but stripped and bloody. The true heart of Christmas was a bleeding heart, a bruised and broken body, a forsaken Son who bore a burden too heavy for us to carry.

The angels heralded the shepherds with the wonderful news that in the city of David a Savior is born which is Christ the Lord. There, with the glad tidings, was the promise of peace on earth good will toward men. Yet instead of universal peace in our country and around the world we are surrounded with violence; instead of good will, hatred abounds. How then is this promise being fulfilled? Is the promise a fairy tale for fools? Is the nativity naivety?

Too many people fail to apply the Christmas message personally. They look at the wars and rumors of wars raging around them and point the finger back at God. They fail to see the war which is raging in their own heart. The promise of peace and good will was not for nations collectively, but for individual hearts singularly. You and I can have peace with God and love towards our fellow man only as our sinful hearts are changed one at a time. The pro-offer of the Christmas gift is available to all who would receive it. But like the gift under the tree with our name on it, it fails to become ours until we take it and unwrap it and own it for ourselves. John 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”

For those of us who have received the gift of Jesus and unwrapped by faith God’s present to us, it is incumbent upon us to share the most wonderful of all gifts with our fellow man. Yes, not only to wish them a Merry Christmas, but to share the wonderful gospel message of the love of God. He gave us His only Son to die on a cross, to be buried in a tomb, and to rise again on the third day as a sacrifice for our sins, as a Savior for our souls, as a healer of our hearts, to enable us not only to love our God rightly, but our fellow man as well. Yes, then comes true peace with God, and true love for our neighbor.

 I, therefore, with all my heart, wish you a Very Merry Christmas and with Christ, wonderful prospects for a New Year in 2015.

 Only Because of Jesus,

Pastor John Schofield