By LEON YOUNGBLOOD

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Regarding this Christmas season’s series regarding the birth of Christ as the Incarnation of God, I am humbled.  I greatly appreciate the comments and observations from readers who have responded (this is not a large group of people), as well as their constructive criticisms: “If you’d get glasses to see with, maybe you’d have fewer typographical errors.”; “If you’d wait a day to proofread your articles, maybe you’d catch your mistakes before publication.”; “Plagiarizing is wrong, but in your case, it might be a pretty good idea.”  To these sorts of criticisms, I admit the observers are right, and offer I no excuses.

BRIAR CIRCLE

Then there are those who were not keen about God being the only infinity, and His Holiness being the reason mortals fear Him and avoid Him, and some who maintain the ways to heaven are varied and numerous.  Quite frankly, some were offended by several of my comments.

Then again, some people said the presentation made them think.  It’s these people I’d like to address, for it may well be that God is talking to some of you.

One occasion when Jesus and His disciples had opportunity to be alone, He asked them, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

They said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”  (This was a “Who’s Who” list of Biblical heroes.  They were all dead, but in popular opinion, one had returned to do what Christ was doing.)

Then Jesus asked, “But who do you say that I am?”

I do not know if there was a pause or if their answer was instantaneous, but Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!”

This statement was significant.  If Peter had said this in the presence of certain Jewish religious leaders, he could have been executed, most likely by stoning.  But Jesus answered him, and said, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”—and if Jesus had said this in front of certain Jewish leaders, He would have been subject to execution, too.

But what needs to be pointed out, here, is that God Himself revealed the significance of Jesus the Messiah to the disciples. Now note: If God is communicating with you, it is through some spiritual means greater than mere human interaction.  How this is done is between God and you; but how you respond is up to you alone. 

Further, the odd thing about the maturing Christian is, he or she does not follow Christ to get into heaven, or to avoid going to hell, or to get the riches “prosperity” evangelists promise.  The Christian accepts Christ because he wants God, and he wants God because God is God.  

But to some people, this is not that big of a deal.

It’s because of this “infinity” thing.  Some people can’t see beyond this limited world, and think God and heaven will be chained with the same restrictions.  I once heard a young man say heaven would be boring after a few million years.  But looking ahead, because God our Father is infinite, the eternal life of the Christian will only grow bigger and bigger, greater and greater, the Father’s perfect Love growing endlessly within us—God wants us to grow, and we do not stop when we get to heaven. 

But it is time to move on.  Thus ends the Briar Circle Christmas series for 2023.  So much more could be said, and could be said better, too.  I at least hope I gave you some things to think about.  As for me, I’m less cynical than I was when I started.  In fact, in 2024, I’m going to celebrate Christmas every day!

Again, I appreciate the input from readers, some who gave me things to consider in my own daily walk in the faith.  May God continue to bless us in the upcoming year.   


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Craig Hall
Publisher, writer, photographer and teacher.
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