Behind the Christmas Tree

Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.    Isaiah 1:18   NIV

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During the sermon last Sunday our pastor shared part of his family’s Christmas letter.

It was a different kind of letter, not chock full of their kids’ accomplishments, but full of their hearts’ desires.  This Christmas season they were struck by how much we need a Savior and acknowledged their failings.  They included these two scriptures about Jesus, instead of the usual story from the second chapter of Luke:

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.   Matthew 1:21   NIV

Jesus is the Greek form of the name we’re familiar with from the Old Testament, “Joshua,”  and it means

“God Saves.”

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.   1 Timothy 1:15   NIV

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In his family Christmas letter our pastor wrote:

I am still selfish; I’d like to be better at sharing.

I still regret my lack of patience when parenting.

My children have come to me for mercy and found a mad man instead.

He came to save me from my sins.

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The pastor’s wife added:

While in the privacy of my home, I yell at my kids and my husband.

I struggle to find contentment.

I struggle with self sacrifice for those who are truly in need.

He came to save me from my sins.

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From the older children came these words:

Instead of responding to inquiries with openness and compassion, I respond with anger and then point out mistakes.

I could show more patience and caring to those that challenge me by speaking only words that are true, necessary, and kind.

I often treat others and myself poorly.  I put too much value on money, and I love worldly possessions.

I worry.  I always have to have something to worry about, which prevents me from truly enjoying the many blessings God has given me.

He came to save me from my sins.

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The cross is often lost in the shadow of the Christmas tree.  The gift given at Christmas, boxed in a manger and tied with a bow of swaddling clothes is the present I least expected, but needed most.

Jesus came to be born as a tiny baby and to die on the cross to save me from my sins:  my impatience, my indifference, and my ingratitude.  My sins–more than mistakes, greater that mere errors, offenses of a self-centered heart–that are guilty blood drops on white, winter ground.  I need a Savior.

He came to save me from my sins.

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wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.   Psalm 51:7

  linked with Jennifer Lee Dukes

Posted on December 24, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Constance, what an honest sharing of the essential gospel…by your pastor’s family… and you. Such lovely photography here on your blog too!

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