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Thursday, December 10, 2009

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Isaiah 41:13-20
Psalm 145:1, 9-13
Matthew 11:11-15

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christmas in the desert

"I will set in the wasteland the cypress, together with the plane tree and the pine." —Isaiah 41:19

Isaiah refers to the traditional Christmas tree, the pine tree. In Isaiah, this is not an artificial tree, or even a cut tree. It is live. This pine tree is not covered with Christmas lights to decorate a living room or front lawn. This Christmas tree is planted in a desert (Is 41:19).

In such an environment, it is impossible for the pine tree to exist, but by God's almighty power it does. In fact, a forest of trees thrives in this desert. The cedar, acacia, myrtle, olive, cypress, and plane tree can all live in this desert because God has miraculously turned the desert into a garden paradise (Is 41:18-19). The pine tree and other trees flourishing in what was formerly a desert is a sign of the wonder-working power of God.

When you look at your Christmas tree, see it as more than ornamentation. See your tree as a reminder of a Christmas miracle. The Lord wants to do something miraculous in the deserts of your life. Is your prayer-life dry as dust? Do you feel deserted by friends and family? In what area of your life have you not borne fruit? The desert is the place for the miracle of Christmas.

Prayer:  Jesus, thank You for suffering desertion on Calvary so as to change my deserts into paradise.

Promise:  "I solemnly assure you, history has not known a man born of woman greater than John the Baptizer. Yet the least born into the kingdom of God is greater than he." —Mt 11:11

Praise:  When Sarah begins to feel deserted during the holidays she visits those who are even more lonely and brings the love of Jesus to them.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on I Believe in Miracles on audio AV 63-3 or video V-63.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2009

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