As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, with our children and grandchildren this Christmas, we are once again reminded of the true meaning of Christmas.
Just as God sent his only son, Jesus Christ, into a world of uncertainty, chaos, and violence in order to redeem us from the penalty of sin, God’s people today face persecution around the world. It’s during these times of danger that the true message of Christmas shines all the brighter.
Through Christ, God gave us the greatest gift of all – salvation. As we continue to engage in the fight for freedom in the United States and around the world, we remember that Christ gave us the ultimate freedom from sin.
God’s ultimate gift to us in the form of his only Son ensures that we don’t face the challenges, tragedies, and tribulations this side of Heaven alone. Christ provides strength, comfort, and healing because God is merciful and filled with grace. This Christmas, my family’s prayer is that the joy and love of Jesus Christ touch the hearts of millions in this nation and around the globe – providing much-needed hope in a world filled with chaos and confusion.
We also pray for those families spending Christmas apart this year because our brave men and women in uniform are stationed around the world to protect our nation and defend our freedoms.
We must also remember those who have forsaken everything in order to live out the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ. Pastor Andrew Brunson – a U.S. citizen from North Carolina – sits in a Turkish prison, facing dangerous trumped-up charges because of his faith in Jesus Christ. Two Christian pastors face potential death sentences in Sudan because of their faith in Christ. Christian mother of five Asia Bibi sits on death row in Pakistan for her faith, asking us to forgive those who persecute her. Christians are targeted for extinction at the hands of jihadists.
We must not cease in praying for them and advocating for their freedom. Christ will never forsake them and neither will we.
Remember, the light of Christ still shines in the darkness just like that first Christmas night.
As Luke 2 tells us:
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
As you gather with family and friends this Christmas, I want to extend to you – on behalf of my family and the entire ACLJ family – a very Merry Christmas.
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