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    Christmas 2017 - A Promise

    December 4, 2017

    By Don Liesemer

    Each year my son, Don Jr., our friend, Charlie Blyth and I set free a team of hand-crafted images of the characters of Christmas. Surviving a long, 11 month, hibernation these special characters are thrilled to get back into the game and perform the task for which they were created- a silent proclamation on our front lawns of the amazing story of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. There have been some interesting happenings: baby Jesus has several times been stolen; gifts have mysteriously been placed in mangers; the characters have been featured on a neighbour’s Christmas cards and one of the displays was chosen as top prize winner by a community resident. Over the next few weeks we will add words from the Bible reminding you of the significance of these amazing characters who endure cold, wind, snow and rain in their witness to the birth of Christ.

    Promise- “I am Going to Score a Goal for You Tonight”- Alex Ovechkin

    Prior to an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on November 26, 2017 Washington Capital’s Alexander Ovechkin, promised 13 year-old cancer survivor, Alex Luey, that he would score a goal. Part way through the first period the Superstar picked up the puck at his own blue line, raced across centre, into the Leaf zone and fired a blistering shot past Toronto goaltender, Curtis McElhinney. Ovechkin immediately gestured to the stands where Luey was wildly cheering signalling that the goal was for him. Ovechkin would go on to score 3 that night bringing indescribable joy to the young teen-ager.

    Promise- “I will send a Saviour”-God

    While Ovechkin promised a goal...God promised a Saviour. Alex’s took 12 minutes and 43 seconds to fulfill, God’s took thousands of years. The Bible tells us that His plan was set before the world was created. In many ways Alex’s blast past the Leaf goalie was routine...he skated and shot. The fulfillment of God’s promise was anything but routine. There were 6 major conditions that had to be fulfilled in the promised Saviour.

    1)    He had to be a Jew (Genesis 28:14)

    2)    He had to be from the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:8-12)   

    3)    He had to be a descendant of David (2 Samuel 7:11,12,16)

    4)    He had to be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14)

    5)    He had to be Divine (Isaiah 9:6,7)

    6)    He had to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)

    Consider the complexity, and precise timing in play. Impossible- for humanity but not for the Lord of the universe who moved events and peoples down through the centuries in order to bring His Son to our planet. Think about: the long list of people that had to form the Messiah’s lineage; contemplate God influencing the entire Roman Empire so that the census was issued at the exact time to move the expectant virgin from Nazareth to Bethlehem; Ponder the Creator’s movement of the star in the sky to get the Magi to Bethlehem to worship the Saviour. The only reasonable answer is that the eternal God did it all and delivered on His promise of a Saviour:

    “...For unto you has been born this day in the city of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11

    The angels knew: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good will to men.” Luke 2:14
    The shepherds recognized Jesus as they returned “glorifying God for all the things they had heard and seen...” Luke 2:20
    Simeon understood that the long awaited Saviour had come and took Jesus in his arms and said: “For my eyes have seen Thy salvation”. Luke 2:30

    Have you recognized and received God’s promised Saviour?