Kathy Bernard - Publisher

MOST of us have already set up our Christmas trees and are laboring over the wrapping of the endless gifts for family and friends. The time of agonizing over what to get for whom is finally over and the gift chosen is being wrapped to put under the tree. Some of the more special gifts may be a new stereo, a new computer or maybe an appliance for a family member and we usually have put a lot of careful thought into the purchase of such expensive items. The wonderful thing about this transaction is that if something should go awry with normal use these gifts are backed by the manufacturer and will be repaired at no cost to us. This fact assures us in face of the enormous cost these items demand. Agreements like this are usually effective for a year to five years. So we feel good knowing any problems will be taken care of and won’t cost us anything. All we have to do is send the broken item back and it is returned as good as new. As long as we have that important sheet of paper which is the Guarantee or Warranty given to us at the time of purchase.

NOW God gives each of His believers a Warranty also. And His Warranty outlasts and is better than any we might get on stereo equipment, computers, and the like. Over two thousand years ago, God guaranteed all of us a Saviour. His most precious Son Jesus Christ. He kept that promise and sent His only child to be born in Bethlehem under the most unassuming and primitive conditions even for that day and time. By His death on a cross Jesus gave us something further. He gave us a Warranty for eternal life. And He signed it with His Blood. Makes our little Warranty on earthly “things” seem insignificant by comparison.

HOW many of us have been so caught up in buying gifts for family and friends and planning our Christmas festivities that we have forgotten what Christmas is really all about. Little baby Jesus lying in a manager is remembered briefly when we hear a beautiful Christmas Carol, then memory dissolves just as quickly as we continue preparations for the season. We don’t mean to forget but we are simply pushed along with the crowds in a frenzy of holiday activity. We may squeeze out a sentimental tear or two as conscience dictates and then it is back to shopping and getting the Christmas decorations out of the attic.

CHRIST seems to be lost somewhere in commercialism these days. Christmas planning starts well before Thanksgiving in order to ensure large profits margins for the retail stores. And the after Christmas sales soak up as much of our attention and money as possible. Those of us with materialistic minds let such things drown out all thought of the real meaning of Christmas. We are simply too busy acquiring all that we can get.  We let earthly trimmings overshadow or get in the way of the real meaning of Christmas.  It is a human condition to want to have a festive time and to spread the joy of giving to family and friends and on the negative side to worry about the way our money seems to grow wings at this time of year. But threading through everything should be the remembrance of the real reason for this holiday. The birth of our Saviour. It should be foremost even as we make our way through the crowds seeking that perfect gift. As Christians we know Christmas is not about money or gift giving. It is the joy we feel that the most important promise God made to humanity many years before came to pass during this time.

CHRISTMAS is the perfect time to review our faith to see if our Warranties are still in effect with God through Jesus Christ. To see what He requires of us and how we qualify for His special privileges. Let us take a good look within ourselves and see how special ourWarranty really is. Read the fine print. If we are living right we will know this Warranty qualifies us for heaven, for new bodies and new lives forever and ever.

AND Santa Claus has nothing to do with it.

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