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They said to the woman, “we no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” (John 4:42)  “The Samaritans urged Jesus to stay with them and He stayed two days. And because of His words, many more became believers.” (John 4:39-41)  The SAVIOR of the World!  Really?!  That’s huge, too much for me to comprehend at times.

Since early October, I began asking my daughter what she would like for her birthday which is in mid-October.  She did not have much on her list as she is, most gratefully, not materialistic whatsoever.  However, she did ask for ‘“Peace on earth,” which I sarcastically told her we’d work on for Christmas.  My wit was not lost on her; my comment prompted the onslaught of Christmas anticipation, which has been going on in her heart and in our home for the last 8 weeks, and it is not yet December!  A few comments included: “Everyone is nicer this time of year mom.”  “There’s “nice” music playing everywhere you go” (instead of loud raunchy songs!)  “People just seem happier during the holiday season.”  “Even my friends who don’t believe in Jesus love Christmas, it’s just awesome!”

My friends, God did not send Jesus to be our “Holiday Mascot” or an excuse for commercialism and feel-good Hallmark moments.  He was sent to be our Immanuel which means “God with us”, to experience our humanness; to teach us how to live in love and humility.  He was our gift that very first Christmas day to bring light and hope for a fallen world.  “With” us every day, not just at Christmas time.  He promised: “Never shall I leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).  Isn’t that the kind of relationship you need?  There is no other relationship that is more important to your life on earth as well as to your forever after.  Ah yes, the anticipation, joy and love felt this time of year as a child, how wonderful and exhilarating!  Please meditate on it, remember it; watch The Polar Express.  This anticipation resonates with children of all ages and cultures.  And, if you do not have children in your life, I’m sure you remember the excitement and joy of the season as a child – simple, sweet, and honest.  Children have so much to teach us; let’s make sure we teach them too!  “The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them.  The disciples shooed them off.  But Jesus was irate and let them know it: “Don’t push these children away.  Don’t ever get between them and me.  These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom.  Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” (Mark 10: 13-15 The Message)

So my friends, believe in why Jesus was born.  Believe He is the Savior of the world.  Cultivate the relationship with Him, which He so desires.  Remember He is not just your Christmas Jesus; He is Your Lord and Savior each and every day.  When my mom would give me presents early I’d always say, “but mom, it’s not Christmas yet!?”  She would say to me: “Eh, every day can be Christmas.”

I pray that you experience Christmas every single day of your life and that you would have Faith to believe in the Hope, the Love, and the Peace that comes from having a relationship with Him.

Merry Christmas!
Anna Marie Caulkins

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