Tuesday, December 22, 2015


…the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5 NIV

Peace with God, the peace that passes understanding.

Manger scene illustrating Sunday’s church bulletin, crowned by a great eight-pointed star. Beams right and left, up and down, depict a cross. Overlapping in the center, an ‘X’, short for the Greek word for Christ.

Look up. See God’s hand, His plan. The Star of Bethlehem, the Christmas Cross, calls to all mankind.

The Gospel in a nutshell: God gave His perfect Garden to His newly created children, Adam and Eve. But, since He wanted real, two-way love, wanted them to choose Him, He gave them one simple commandment and a penalty—eat from that one tree and you die—and they blew it.

Banished from the Garden to struggle in a broken world until their bodies succumbed, they ached with the greater death of perpetual separation from God.

“Children, I love you, and I don’t want you to die,” God said. “Someone else—sheep and cattle and goats—can die for you.”

But animals are a part of this lost Creation. Even millions of such deaths aren’t enough to save just one soul. There’s only one Perfect Lamb who can pay that final price, that balloon payment, for all of us. So, God made Himself a body that could die—something our spirit God cannot do—and died for us to make peace between Himself and Adam’s whole race.

Then, get this, He whupped the tar out of death and walked out of that grave! And so will we, if we choose Him. 
Wise men of old followed the Christmas Cross. Will you? Will you come to the Creator of Life, who calls us to new life abundant and eternal?

Many times death has been close to me, Avi, and many times You saved me. Even so, this frail shell will die, if You delay. With every new twinge, every new failing, I look forward to the new body You’ve promised I’ll live in—but even more I look forward to the Friend I’ll live with for all eternity. Come soon, Avi. In Your holy name, Amen.





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