Posted by: valerieburgess | December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008

 

Christmas art by Zane Burgess

Christmas art by Zane Burgess

 

December 25, 2008

 

Dear Friends and Family,

            God desires that we have intimate, experiential knowledge of Him. We can know that Jesus was born in a stable. We can reflect on this fact. But unless we have a relationship with Him through prayer, reading the Bible, and asking God to illuminate His Word in our life, this knowledge of His birth will do us no good. This empty knowledge is like the clanging gong described in I Corinthians 13. It is words or a celebration that lacks an intimate love.

             Why do people after two thousand years still remember the birth of the Christ Child? Because it came with a pure, unadulterated love that knows no boundaries, pure as the newborn baby lying in the stable.

            The Bible says to love God is to be known of God. (See I Cor. 8:3) God wants two way communication with you. He wants a relationship. Yes, you love God, but He recognizes and knows you as well. Christmas and the resulting holiday season means little unless one knows God and is known by Him. Then the holiday experience becomes worthwhile. It’s not the ribbons and the wrappings that create a great celebration. It’s the observance of this “Holy-day” when Christ came to chase away the darkness and be the Light of the World for you and me.

            In the drawing above, our son Zane created a pictorial representation of what Christ’s birth means to you, me, and the entire world. He made this illustration for a sermon Valerie recently preached in the Hiland Correctional Facility to about 65 ladies. She wanted a Christmas card that would illustrate the sermon and leave the women with a spiritually healthy view on the Christmas season. She wanted to give them a card that would help them know God and be known by Him. The words inside the card explain the picture and summarize the sermon: 

The Christmas Gift of Freedom

God gave us the gift of baby Jesus. (See Isaiah 9:6.)

The love that He came wrapped in brought light into the world. (See Isaiah 9:2.)

A light that dispels darkness and sets people free from their burdens and chains that bind. (See Isaiah 9:4.)

The Christ Child came to increase our joy. (See Isaiah 9:3.)

He came as the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.  By virtue of His birth, death, and resurrection, you can pray accepting Christ the Son of God as friend and Lord. When you pray, the Son will set you free and you will be free indeed. (See John 8:36.)

 

            On this Christmas Day, we encourage you to know God and to be known by Him. Make this Holy-day a celebration full of God’s love.

“For God so loved the World that He gave his only Son (John 3:16, NIV).”

“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God (I John 4:7).”

            May the gift of freedom through the love of Christ as shown in His humble birth and the gift of an ever increasing intimate knowledge of God be yours this Christmas season.

 

Love,  Mark, Valerie and the Burgess Family

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