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Doug Creamer Column: Merry Christmas 2018

Our recent snow gave me a few days off and the opportunity to really enjoy putting up the Christmas decorations this year. I always like putting up the decorations, but there was no time pressure. I like sitting near the Christmas tree late at night and just allowing the spirit of the season to soak in.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column twice a month for the SNAP.

I enjoy decorating outside about as much as inside … as long as the weather is reasonable. There are a number of us on my street who put up manger scenes. We want to make sure all the passersby know the real reason for the season. I also have a big sign featuring a dove and the word “Peace.”

I wonder if we misunderstand the message of peace on earth. All throughout history, including today, there seems to be war going on someplace on earth. There is always some kind of conflict between people. Where is this elusive peace that seems to be promised to us?

I believe that peace is available to all of us. Jesus came to make peace between God and mankind. Our sin created a barrier for us, keeping us from a personal relationship with God. Jesus paid the price that was required, his life, his blood, his death on the cross, to purchase the peace for each one of us. We now have peace with God and we can have that peace deep in our hearts, and filling and calming our minds. We can have the peace that goes beyond our understanding … no matter what our situation or circumstances.

Christmas is the birth of love, joy, peace, forgiveness and the beginning of a right relationship with God. The door is open for you to have and receive the wonder of the gift of Christmas … the birth of Jesus, the Savior of the world. I have a hard time understanding why people don’t want to receive Jesus as their Savior. We have the opportunity to give up doubt, fear, anxiety, worry, anger, hatred, and knowing that our eternal destination is separated from the love of God. We can exchange that for love, acceptance, forgiveness, joy and peace.

Some people won’t make the exchange because it comes at a cost. Following Christ does have a price; we have to give up our will for God’s. I can imagine that Mary and Joseph would not have chosen to bring their first child into the world in a cave or barn outside the city. Joseph no doubt felt he had failed to provide properly for his wife and God’s son. Mary must have felt alone without her mother or the local midwife to help with her burden.

Mary and Joseph had not missed God at all. As proof, God sent some shepherds to congratulate them on the birth of His son. On the seventh day, the day when Jesus was to be circumcised, God sent an old man and a prophetess to gaze upon their child and express to them the joy they felt at being able to behold the Christ child.

His coming was truly a miracle. Mary and Joseph had to endure scorn and shame for something they didn’t do. They had to trust God when they traveled to Bethlehem in order to fulfill the scriptures that said the messiah would be born there. They were given the awesome responsibility of raising this boy who would become their Savior. Did they struggle with doubt and fear along the way? I am convinced they did.

Mary and Joseph did what we are all called to do. They obeyed God and said, “yes, I am willing to do what you ask.” There is always a cost for saying yes to God. But He will send signs along the way to let you know you are on the right path. It may not be angels and shepherds, but He will send you the help you need to fulfill His calling on your life. You will be giving up your will for His peace, forgiveness, joy, love and His favor upon your life.

I want to encourage you to open your heart and to make room for the Savior to come in. He requires an exchange, the mess you have made of your life for the path that leads to eternal life. You can have a relationship with God that will change your destiny.

Walking with God is an adventure that all begins with your willingness to open your heart and let Him in. For unto you a child is born … one who gives hope, joy, and peace. Please accept this gift today.

Merry Christmas and God bless you.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041or doug@dougcreamer.com