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Looking forward to Christmas

Come Ye to Bethlehem by Simon DeweyWe hope you have been enjoying this year's Looking Forward to Christmas. As you may know, my wife, Janet writes the Advent devotional guide each year. She also blogs twice weekly at www.janetdenison.com.

Instead of the typical Cultural Commentary, we would like to share her Christmas devotionals to help prepare you to celebrate the birth of our King, who became one of us so that we might be one with him. Our ministry wishes you a blessed Christmas season, filled with his joy and peace.

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. -John 1:10-11

Thousands of people will line up today, hoping for a photo of their children on Santa's lap. I love watching the different reactions on the faces of the boys and girls when they catch their first close up glance of the old man in the red suit. The reaction on their parents' faces is a lot of fun as well. Parents work hard to convince their children that Santa is "coming to town!" But Santa won't be coming – Jesus will.

Jesus made the world, but when he stepped into the world, people didn't recognize him. They wanted Santa, but they were given a Savior. Jesus came first to the people who went to the synagogue each week, his own Jewish nation. But the majority of the Jewish population didn't receive him. They wanted a King who would make them powerful, not a Messiah who would encourage humility and love. They wanted a Santa more than they wanted the Savior.

Jesus came "to his own," but they didn't receive him. However, the shepherds did. So did Mary, Joseph, Simeon and Anna. What was the difference between the people who received Jesus and those who didn't? Some wanted the gift they had been given, while others wanted to exchange him for something he would never be.

Santa isn't coming to town, but Jesus is. Will you look forward to receiving him into your holiday – as the honored guest?
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