It is the first weekend in December, and it is beginning to look (and sound) a lot like Christmas. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are causing retailers to sing for joy. Christmas decorations in my neighborhood began to go up a couple of weeks ago. In fact, our local Costco store began putting up its Christmas displays in October. Some radio stations that play only Christmas music began holiday programming in early November.
If you are wondering what radio station in your area plays all Christmas music, click HERE and put in your zip code to find your local Holiday station.
The music, the movies (Hallmark Christmas movies have been playing, it seems like, since July), and our childhood memories all appear to point us toward this positive experience we call Christmastime. It seems that Americans can’t get enough Christmas. I wonder if it is the hope found in the celebration of Jesus’ birth or just a distraction from the mundane movements of life that is so appealing.
Like my favorite Peanuts character, Charlie Brown, I do not want to get caught up in all the commercialism of Christmas and miss the real meaning, so I decided I would find some inspiration by re-reading the Christmas story in Matthew. So, as I opened the pages of Matthew and began to read … and oh my gosh, I came face to face with all those “begats” (KJV) … not really all that inspiring. But wanting to be a good student of the Bible, I figured the Holy Spirit had prompted Matthew to record Jesus’ family tree, so I thought it was valuable to read them even if I mispronounced some of the names.
As I read through this genealogy, I discovered some interesting points:
Before I got into the “real” Christmas story, God had already inspired me by the process He used that I discovered in this genealogy. I am just an ordinary person; I am not a Hebrew; I have made past decisions which I am not proud of; I want a purpose in my life, and I am often impatient; and I want to serve a King who makes good promises and keeps them. There is hope for me!
It is clear to me that God continues to partner with mankind, many of whom are just ordinary people with a past in which the hand of God moves to make the hope of the Gospel known and available to all people everywhere. Thank you for your partnership in ministry in helping to bring such good news to those living in the Middle East and North Africa.
May God continue to bless you as you celebrate the birth of our Lord and King, Jesus,
Vice President of Development, SAT-7 USA