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Christmas-Card Perfect

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
December 24, 2022 7:00 pm

Christmas-Card Perfect

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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December 24, 2022 7:00 pm

The Barker family Christmas video was perfect. Three robe-clad shepherds (the family’s young sons) huddled around a fire in a grassy field. Suddenly an angel descended from the hilltop—their big sister, looking resplendent, except for the pink high-top sneakers. As the soundtrack swelled, the shepherds stared skyward in amazement. A trek across a field led them to a real baby—their infant brother in a modern barn. Big sister now played the role of Mary.

Then came the “bonus features,” when their dad let us peek behind the scenes. Whiny kids complained, “I’m cold.” “I have to go to the bathroom right now!” “Can we go home?” “Guys, pay attention,” said their mom more than once. Reality was far from Christmas-card perfect.

It’s easy to view the original Christmas story through the lens of a well-edited final cut. But from start to finish, Jesus’ life was anything but smooth. A jealous Herod tried to kill Him in infancy (Matthew 2:13). Mary and Joseph misunderstood Him (Luke 2:41–50). The world hated Him (John 7:7). For a time, even His brothers didn’t believe in Him (7:5). His mission led to a grisly death. He did it all to honor His Father and rescue us.

The Barkers’ Christmas video ended with these words of Jesus: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). That’s a reality we can live with—forever.

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Our Daily Bread Ministries
Various Hosts

Merry Christmas, and welcome to this Christmas Day edition of Our Daily Bread. Our reading today was written by Tim Gustafson, and he titled it Christmas Card Perfect.

The Barker family Christmas video was perfect. Three robe-clad shepherds, the family's young sons, huddled around a fire in a grassy field. Suddenly, an angel descended from the hilltop, their big sister, looking resplendent, except for the pink high-top sneakers. As the soundtrack swelled, the shepherds stared skyward in amazement. A trek across a field led them to a real baby, their infant brother in a modern barn.

Big sister now played the role of Merry. Then came the bonus features, when their dad let us peek behind the scenes. Winey kids complained, I'm cold, I have to go to the bathroom right now.

Can we go home? Guys, pay attention, said their mom more than once. Reality was far from Christmas card perfect.

It's easy to view the original Christmas story through the lens of a well-edited final cut. But Jesus's life was anything but smooth. A jealous Herod tried to kill him in infancy. Mary and Joseph misunderstood him. The world hated him. For a time, even his own brothers did not believe in him. His mission led to a grisly death. He did it all to honor his father and rescue us. The Barker's video ended with these words of Jesus, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.

That's a reality we can live with forever. Today's scripture reading is from the book of John chapter 7 verses 1 through 9. After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. But when the Jewish festival of Tabernacles was near, Jesus's brother said to him, Leave Galilee and go to Judea so that your disciples there may see the works you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret.

Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world. For even his own brothers did not believe in him. Therefore, Jesus told them, My time is not yet here.

For you, any time will do. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. You go to the festival.

I am not going up to this festival because my time has not yet fully come. After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee. Let's pray. Father, as we once again reflect on the birth of Jesus, the Christ, we are once again humbled by your love, grace, and mercy. Thank you for sending your Son to provide a way for us to be reconciled to you forever. We love you, Lord. It's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Thanks for listening today. I'm Stephen, and today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-24 20:13:50 / 2022-12-24 20:15:24 / 2

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