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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

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1 John 2:12-17
Psalm 96
Luke 2:36-40

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christmas or xmas?

"Bring gifts, and enter His courts; worship the Lord." —Psalm 96:8-9

We can have two kinds of Christmases — one real and the other fake. Anna had a real Christmas. This eighty-four year old widow "was constantly in the temple, worshiping day and night in fasting and prayer" (Lk 2:37). "She gave thanks to God and talked about the Child" (Lk 2:38). Anna met and loved Christ. Her Christmas and life were Christ-centered.

The fake Christmas is described as "carnal allurements, enticements for the eye, the life of empty show" (1 Jn 2:16). This fake Christmas passes away. It leaves its victims self-centered, empty, and unprepared to deal with the demands of life and the new year. This fake Christmas prevents us from experiencing God the Father's love (1 Jn 2:15). It leaves us spiritually bankrupt of love.

What if you've been deceived into celebrating the fake Christmas? What if you've still not decided which Christmas you'll celebrate? You can repent now. The Lord has called you to read this for that very reason. You don't have to let the devil rob you of Christmas. There are still thirteen more days remaining in the Christmas season in which you can meet and love Jesus. You can live for Him. You can have a real Christmas.

Prayer:  Father, may I "have no love for the world, nor the things that the world affords" (1 Jn 2:15).

Promise:  "The man who does God's will endures forever." —1 Jn 2:17

Praise:  At age 99, Mary still lives a Christ-centered life by attending daily Mass at her nursing home.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 17, 2008

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