For some, Christmas is a time for warm memories—family get-togethers, carols, gifts, children, tradition. For others, the Christmas spirit is dampened by with depression, job loss, the death of a family member or friend.  Maybe long-standing feud with a family member.

Whatever your situation . . . it’s easy to lose sight of what Christmas is all about.

Imagine you’re one of those shepherds guarding sheep overnight near the city of Bethlehem . . . when an angel shouted, “I bring you good news of great joy . . . one who can rescue you from your troubles has been born today.”

Good news? With a foreign government crushing you with taxes?  Forcing you to travel to your ancestral home to pay up . . . only to be met with flashing “No Vacancy” signs?

Yes . . . Jesus came into a messy world . . . just like yours.  God created you to live peacefully with him and others . . . but our ancestors rebelled against him.  Eventually, we joined in.  Being a perfectly holy God, he couldn’t tolerate our rebellion.  So he sent us away . . . but loved us so much He couldn’t forget about us.

God demanded someone pay the price for this rebellion . . . someone who hadn’t been tainted by it.  So he sent the only one qualified . . . his one and only son Jesus . . . as a baby to wade into the mess we created.  He grew up to teach us God’s ways.  In the end, he willingly died at the hands of cruel soldiers . . . paying the price for your rebellion.  So what should you do?

This Christmas, God simply asks you to admit you have taken part in the rebellion . . . and recognize you can’t get yourself out of the mess.  He invites you to believe that he has paid the price for your rebellion . . . because you couldn’t do it on your own.  If you agree, he invites you to pray this prayer:

Dear God, I admit that, like my ancestors, I have lived in rebellion against you.  I’m sorry that I have offended you in so many ways.  Thank you for sending Jesus to earth to teach me your ways, then to die to pay the price of my rebellion.  I accept what He has done for me.  Thank you for welcoming me back into your arms, this time forever!  Help me walk in your ways from now on.

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