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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Unwelcome Christmas"

December 26, 2004

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“Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.” Matthew 23:34

Some are glad Christmas is “over.” Now all the hype can end. They are sick of the commercials, the tinsel, the parties, the forced friendliness. Others are glad because they don’t like religious stuff! All the talk of Jesus and Mary and angels and shepherds has them wishing for a nice secular January. They don’t want to hear one more Christian tell them “Jesus is the Reason for the Season.”

Christmas can be an unwelcome holiday because Jesus is not welcomed in this world. St. Stephen found out how unwelcome Jesus was as others closed their ears to his words and led him out to be stoned. But he spoke the Word of Christ anyway and bore witness with His death. We are not being stoned, but we are still called to be “martyrs,” witnesses to the One who has come into the world, the Light who shines in the darkness.

And while those in darkness may still not want to hear, that won’t stop the Light. In some countries, today is also called Boxing Day, a day to share Christmas fare with those less fortunate. What better to share than the news that Christmas is not “over”— it will never be over, since the Word made flesh has died and lives forever for us.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank You that Christmas is never over, since You remain our Saviour in the flesh forever. Amen.

My Bold Action for Today: Bear witness to Christ by joining your fellow saints in the Divine Service today (even though you’ve been “at church” the last two days).

Rev. Warren Hamp

Today's Bible Readings: Nehemiah 4-6    Revelation 17

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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