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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mixed Messages

Christmas is about poverty, isn’t it? We all know the story – the poor Christ child, born in a barn, no room for him in the inn, he left his wealth in paradise and became one like us. How did Christmas ever become the season of wealth? We all know the story – black Friday, Christmas shopping, biggest retail season of the year, buying gifts and going into credit card debt.

The prophet Isaiah speaks above the noisy hoards . . .

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners.” Isaiah 61:1

Christ’s soon coming is good news to those who are aware of their poverty, brokenness and emptiness. For them, Christmas is a cause of rejoicing. However, for those who are perishing in their pride and arrogance, who are filled with self-importance and possessions, it spells eternal loss. What is up is down and every valley will be raised and every mountain made low.

Isaiah thunders . . . For this is what the high and exalted One says — he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is crushed and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the hearts of the contrite.” Isaiah 57:15

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3
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