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by Cary Branscum

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“You will find the baby wrapped and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:12)

    Christmas Eve on the railroad tracks. That’s where someone I knew once spent Christmas Eve. It’s their most memorable Christmas. Someone else I knew drove downtown in a snowstorm to pick up a prodigal son after a long cold bus ride. Tears and joy filled the cold dark night as they were reunited.

    You know folks, Christmas can be intense. The highs are higher and the lows are really low! For some singles, the holidays are a reminder of broken dreams, shattered hopes, and forgotten promises. For other singles, Christmas is a time to reconnect and count blessings.

    Christmas is also a time of materialism, a shopper’s dream and/or nightmare. People are in a holiday mood, but they will push and shove at Christmas sales and in check lines. One of my favorite holidays quotes is this: “If you scrape off the phony tinsel of Christmas, you get to the real tinsel underneath”.

    Christmas can als be special! For all of us, Christams can be a time to “come home” to Jesus and warm our hands and hearts at the fires of faith.

    My hope and prayer for you this holiday season is twofold. First, make it a great one for someone else, especially a child. Pick out a little one, and just buy them everything on their list! Be someone’s Santa Claus. They will always remember it. The best part is, you will remember it, too. Second, carve out a warm spot to sit, think, feel, and pray about your relationship with Jesus Christ. Remember why his birth is so special to you.

    Luke records the words to the shepherds regarding Jesus. “He will be wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” This would be a sign to them.

    If I had been one of the shepherds, I might have said something like this; “Wait a minute, why us, and how did you get here? Did you fly? You scared us to death. We are shepherds! We are not theologians. Did you take the wrong exit? Is this a trick? How did this come about? How did a God become a man, and a baby? How will we go on about our lives after this? How does God work? How did He pick us? How is this going to matter? How, how, how, how, how?”

“How, how, how, how, how?”
    The first question we are taught to ask is “How?” We want to know “how” something is done. If we are convinced of the “how” then we will believe. How did God do all this? How is He God? How did he do the miracles, walk on water, feed the five thousand, heal the sick? I want to give you a wonderful guideline for your faith meditations this Christmas. When you are reading your Bible, thinking and praying, instead of asking “How?” ask “Who?” instead. You see, you can’t get to Jesus by asking “how.” You get to Jesus by asking “Who?”

    How did the Spirit conceive Jesus? We won’t know that till heaven. Who did the Spirit conceive? Jesus.

    How did God orchestrate Jesus being in the manger? We’ll never know it all. Who was in the manger? Jesus.

    How did Jesus work the miracles? It’s beyond us. Who worked the miracles? Jesus.

    How exactly does Jesus blood cleanse us? It’s a divine miraculous mystery. Whose blood cleanses us? The blood of Jesus.

    How did Jesus rise from the dead? God’s power we can’t fathom. Who rose from the dead? Jesus.

    You get the idea? Christmas is not a “How?” Christmas is a “Who?” No matter where you are this holiday season, no matter “how” you are, please pray and consider who you are, and “whose” you are!

 
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      ©2002, Cary Branscum. Used by permission.

      Title: ""
      Author: Cary Branscum
      Publication Date: December 19, 2002


 
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