This time of year can be magical. Holiday cheer is in the air. People are smiling and planning meals, family reunions and gifts for everyone. Christmas cards are going out and homes are being decorated inside and out. The stores are full and the registers are ringing. The weather has gotten a bit cool here in Texas and the leaves are turning and dropping. It is certainly beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Yet, behind closed doors holiday cheer can be absent. The pain of the loss of a loved one can bring tears… for years. The stress and strain of the season can bring people to depression/anxiety and there is always an uptick in the use of psychotropic medications.

How can these different scenarios exist inside of a season where there is supposed to be great cheer? The truth is that they are both wrong because neither set of people are looking to the real reason for the season – the birth of Jesus Christ. As we look to the greatest event in human history, that is what should make us joyful. Yet, the sad truth is most people today can’t even tell you why and what Christmas is about.

Thousands of years before Christ was born of virgin in a manger in the city of Bethlehem, it was foretold that He would be born in that exact place and in that exact way. Wise men from Babylon came to celebrate His birth following a star that was foretold to announce His birth, the birth of the King and Savior of the World.

So why have things changed so much? Why are we not celebrating the King that has come to save us? The sad truth is that we, as a society, have become so caught up in the holiday scene that Madison Avenue has portrayed for us or the Hallmark Channel has scripted for us, that we forget about Jesus. We become despondent when the reality of the Madison Avenue Christmas is interrupted by real life tragedy, loss and pain.

I want to challenge you to do something with me – each day till Christmas, I am going to write about the real Christmas Story and some interesting historical and scientific facts about it all, along with a couple of Christmas miracles. I want to ask you to respond each day with a favorite memory of yours from Christmas past or your hopes for this Christmas – maybe your plans at your church etc. Let’s do this!

Merry Christmas!

Cliff

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