“The Christmas that does not remember the cross is not authentic.” (Today in A Manger)

As I read this line I was reminded again about the enormity of the Gift that has been given to us. The Gift that we anticipate each Advent. The Gift that we celebrate each Christmas. This Gift that has broken the powers of death and hell. This Gift that has redeemed us from the pit. This Gift that brings us joy in the midst of sorrow. This Gift that loved us so much that He laid down His live for ours.

And then I read this and got even more excited about just how indescribable and overwhelming this Gift is that we have been given.

So don’t be embarrassed to speak up for our Master or for me, his prisoner. Take your share of suffering for the Message along with the rest of us. We can only keep on going, after all, by the power of God, who first saved us and then called us to this holy work. We had nothing to do with it. It was all his idea, a gift prepared for us in Jesus long before we knew anything about it. But we know it now. Since the appearance of our Savior, nothing could be plainer: death defeated, life vindicated in a steady blaze of light, all through the work of Jesus.” –2 Timothy 1:8-10 (The Message)

I am awed (again, always…) at the enormity of this. And  I don’t have words to express my gratitude to God for giving me LIFE this Christmas. And I echo the words of this prayer today:

“Lord…Help me to show a lost world that death has been defeated and life vindicated, all through your work on earth.” (Today in A Manger)