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"A Christmas Thought"

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  • marksedrak
    A Christmas Thought [Written by Pastor Gerald Whetstone] All the presents had been opened. The crumpled wrapping paper which had Once concealed each gift so
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 27, 2003
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      "A Christmas Thought"
      [Written by Pastor Gerald Whetstone]

      All the presents had been opened. The crumpled wrapping paper which
      had Once concealed each gift so beautifully had been placed in a
      large garbage bag.

      The family members sat around the gift laden tree looking at each
      other With a wondering "what's next" stare when it became apparent
      that something had caught dad's attention. Each looked in the
      direction of his gaze to find the crèche setting there among the
      gifts. It once held the center spot under the tree, but became
      obscure as the gifts were placed around it, until now. Now it
      silently proclaimed the mystery of Christmas.

      Each small figurine had been placed strategically around the manger
      to Focus all attention to the Christ Child figure. The silence was
      broken as dad uttered softly: "In the beginning was the Word, and the
      Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the
      beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was
      made that been made. In Him was life and that life was the light of
      men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not
      understood it."

      Dad rose from his chair beckoning with hand gestures for the other
      Family members to come close to him. They moved in close as he
      stretched out his arms to draw them close. Everyone's attention still
      riveted on the crèche he continued softly: "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. Yet to all who received Him, to those who believe in His Name,
      He gave the right to become the children of God - Children born not
      of natural descent, not of human decision or a husband's will, but
      born of God. The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We
      have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the
      Father, full of grace and truth."

      Dad's eyes filled with tears painfully aware that in the same way
      that the crèche had been pushed aside for the other things, so had
      the truth of Christmas been pushed aside for he and his family. He
      slowly bowed his head and prayed aloud. "Gracious Heavenly Father,
      we do receive The Word now. We confess that we have allowed other
      things to crowd Him out. Forgive us. We do believe and in the Name of
      Jesus receive You now. Make Your dwelling in us Jesus. Illuminate us
      with Your light. Make us Your own Father. We are Yours!"

      The family had now formed into a circle hugging one another and spoke
      with one voice, "Amen." As they released from the circle there was a
      Wonderful glow in their faces that the gift opening had not brought.
      Their was a fullness of life that the things had not engendered. This
      household had done more than celebrate Christmas - they experienced
      Him.

      The gift giving and receiving has its place, but let us all be sure
      that He remains in the center - in the center of Christmas and of our
      lives individually and collectively. "Yet to all who received Him, to
      those who believe in His Name, He gave the right to become the
      children of God - Children born not of natural descent, not of human
      decision or a
      Husband will, but born of God."

      ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

      "You can give without loving
      but you cannot love without giving"

      "For God so LOVED the world,
      that he GAVE his only begotten Son,
      that whosoever believed in him
      should not perish,
      but have everlasting life"
      John 3:16
      [New King James Version]

      ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
      ______________________________________________________

      Check out the following WebPages
      ______________________________________________________

      Coptic Orphans
      <http://www.copticorphans.org>
      ______________________________________________________

      St. Shenouda the Archimanidrite Coptic Society
      <http://www.stshenouda.com/>

      Coptic Orthodox Christian Center (C.O.C.C)
      <http://www.thecocc.org/>

      Pope Shenouda Coptic Orthodox Theological Seminary (Los Angeles
      branch)
      <http://www.geocities.com/copticseminary/>

      St. Athanasius WebPages
      <http://www.st-athanasius.org>

      St. Athanasius Youth WebPages
      <http://www.stayouth.8k.com>

      UCLA Coptic Club WebPages
      <http://www.studentgroups.ucla.edu/coptic/>

      Cal Poly Pomona Coptic Club
      <http://www.csupomona.edu/~coptic/>

      St. Mary & St. Verena Web Pages
      <http://www.saintverena.org>

      St. Abanoub and St. Antony
      <http://www.saintabanoub.org>

      St. John the Beloved Web Page
      <http://www.saintjohnorthodox.com/>

      Verse of the Day
      <http://www.votdonline.com>

      Mark Sadek
      <http://members.aol.com/marksadek>

      St. George Coptic Orthodox Church, New York
      <http://www.cocstgeorge.org>

      St. George Coptic Orthodox Church, Bellflower, CA
      <http://www.stgeorge-lacopts.org>

      Archangel Michael in Santa Ana, CA
      <http://www.archangelmichaeloc.org>

      St. Mary & Archangel Raphael
      Burlington, Vermont
      <http://copticvt.tripod.com>

      St. George Youth
      Bellflower, CA
      <http://www.stgeorgeyouth.com/>

      myCopticChurch.com - The Coptic Experience
      <http://www.myCopticChurch.com/>

      Cal State Fullerton Coptic Club
      <http://www32.brinkster.com/csufcopticclub/homepage>

      Coptic Liturgical Vestments and other Liturgical items.
      <http://www.heavenlyembroidery.com>
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