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A Prayer for Turkey and Syria After the Devastating Earthquake

Where Is the Child?

Where Is the Child?
Many years ago a wealthy family decided to have their newborn baby baptized in their enormous mansion. Dozens of guests were invited to the elaborate affair, and they all arrived dressed in the latest fashion. After depositing their elegant wraps on a bed in an upstairs room, the guests were entertained royally. Soon the time came for the main purpose of their gathering, the infant’s baptismal ceremony. But where was the child? No one seemed to know.

The child’s governess ran upstairs, only to return with a desperate look on her face. Everyone searched frantically for the baby. Then, someone recalled having seen the child sleeping on one of the beds. The baby was on a bed, all right--buried underneath a pile of coats, jackets and furs. The very object of that day’s celebration had been forgotten, neglected, and nearly smothered!

I can’t help but remember that story as I walk along busy city streets during this holiday season. Everywhere I look I see lights, tinsel, trimmings and trappings. Shoppers loaded down with expensive gifts that may take the next year to pay off. And I ask myself, "Is this Christmas?"

Where is the Child whose birthday we celebrate?

During the first Christmas, wise men from the East came to the city of Bethlehem, looking for the Christ Child. They came searching for One who would become the Savior of the world. Today, if we were to search for Jesus in the homes and streets of our towns and cities, would we find Him?

The Other Christmas
You see, there are actually two Christmases. One Christmas is that of commercialism and the excesses of overeating, overdrinking, and overspending. The other Christmas is one of love, joy, hope, peace, and adoration of the One whose birthday we are invited to celebrate.

According to the Bible, the real Christmas is a vivid demonstration of God’s love--"This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." (1 John 4:9-10).

Jesus Christ was God’s love gift to the world. He came into the world, was born of a virgin, and lived among men. The Christ Child of that first Christmas became the One who sacrificially died for the sins of the world and who rose again by the power of God. That is why, as we read in Romans 6:23, "the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

To experience and know God’s gift of eternal life, you must receive Christ. "To all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God." (John 1:12).

A Christmas Gift for You
This year, Christmas can be the most wonderful holiday you have ever known. If you receive the gift of God--Christ Himself--this Christmas will have true meaning for you. You will have peace with God and peace in your heart, a peace unlike any the world can offer.

Where is the Christ Child in your Christmas?

The best way I know to put Jesus Christ back in your Christmas is to simply confess your sins to God, by faith trust that Christ’s death has paid for those sins, and receive His free gift of eternal life. If that’s your decision, then tell God now--silently if you wish--right where you are. You may wish to use this prayer:

Heavenly Father, I want to celebrate the real Christmas. I believe in what the Child of Christmas, Your Son, Jesus Christ, did for me on the cross when He died for my sins. I don’t completely understand it, but I accept it by faith. I want to be a child of Yours, too. Please come into my life, Lord Jesus. Because You have forgiven me, I want to follow You and obey You forever. Amen.

Luis Palau is a world-renowned evangelist who has proclaimed the Good News of Jesus Christ to hundreds of millions of people in 104 nations via live events, radio, television, and evangelistic literature outreaches. He has published more than 150 articles and 44 books and booklets in English and Spanish, including It’s a God Thing (Doubleday, 2001). This article is copyright © 1993-2001 Luis Palau, P.O. Box 1173, Portland, Oregon 97207, www.palau.org, palau@palau.org.

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