24 Dec 2018

Silent Night, Holy Night

Sometimes I write a “Christmas letter” to readers of “Israel Watch” and this year is one of those letters. I just feel it in my bones.

The first time I visited Bethlehem, it was clouded by the fact that the PLO controls the city, ever since Israel ceded authority under the evil Oslo framework. The very idea that Arafat’s thugs roam the place is painful. This place, where our King of kings was born 2,000 years ago, is temporarily under the sway of the evil one.

It will not always be so.

The Church of the Nativity, if that is in fact the place where Jesus was born, is slightly younger than that famous night. Giant timbers in the ceiling evoke memories of the Crusaders. The small grotto beneath the church is allegedly where Mary and Joseph welcomed their baby into the world.

It’s easy to imagine the scene, as one today can see the stars shine in the sky as real shepherds tend their flocks at night.

Christmas is what we make it.

If we focus on the bad in the world, that will be our Christmas.

I aggressively choose to focus on the good.

A friend of mine is in the process of helping a young woman who finds herself in difficult circumstances. With no family or friends in this area, she was passing through when a series of events left her homeless. She had been living in her car (during a two-day rainstorm) with two dogs.

No one should live that way in America.

My friend took her to a “room at the inn” and bought her a few weeks at a hotel. A shelter from the storm. The woman has food and is gathering options. Others want to help. She seems genuinely resolved to climb out of her circumstances.

God has been very good to us. He gave us free will, then would not leave us in our sin after we lost it all. He came to a very real place, on a real night, to real earthly parents. This is an historical fact, and the prophet Micah recorded the prediction of that great event hundreds of years before it took place.

When Christ infuses us with His Spirit, we are different.

I have a confession to make. Chalk it up to advancing old age, or something else, I sometimes am not as nice to people as I should be. But God continues to remind me to check my attitude. He reminds me that He has always provided for me and been good to me and protected me. These thoughts have made me more mindful of others. I am blessed beyond measure, truly. I have a quiet home in the country and can come and go as I please. I have my needs met. I have wonderful family and friends.

This Christmas, please, share your plenty with someone in need. Just be compassionate and reach out to them. Rub elbows with people you normally would not. You are no better than they are. I’m not.

Our RaptureReady family is a precious one. If you have had difficulties this year, remember to tell Jesus that you need rest. Then look around and see whom you can comfort with a meal, a kind word, a listening ear.

Most of all, ask the Lord to bring someone to you so that you can share the Good News of what happened in Judea that long ago night.

And, have yourself a merry little Christmas!