Sunday, December 19, 2010

ATM Sunday Message for December 19, 2010

Confederate Christians and fellow Compatriots:
Below is my message for Sunday, December 19th.  Please feel free to forward or reply.  Your comments are always appreciated.  It may also be used in your camp or other newsletter.
May our Lord bless each of you with a very merry Christmas.
Bro. Len Patterson, Th.D
Chaplain, Army of Trans-Mississippi
Member, Chaplain's Corps Committee
Sons of Confederate Veterans
A Christmas Message.
The story of Christmas has been told and retold. A mountain of books have been written and thousands of sermons have been preached about that first Christmas so long ago. We sing songs about peace on earth and joy to the world. And we love to hear of Mary, Joseph, and the birth of the Christ Child in Bethlehem. But, there is a Christmas message that is often overlooked.
It is the manner of this world to consider some people as being more important or of greater value than others, usually due to their wealth or position. However, the Christmas message tells us this is not so with God.

When Christ was born in Bethlehem, the Bible tells us that an angel was sent to announce His long awaited arrival. (Lk. 2: 10, 11) It is important for us to notice that when the angel came, he did not come to the priests serving in the great Temple of God in Jerusalem. Nor did he come to the Rabbis who taught people about the coming Messiah, or to the Scribes who knew so much about the prophecies concerning the Messiah. The angel did not come to the very religious Pharisees or Sadducees, or make his announcement to the Sanhedrin, the judges of Israel. And the angel did not appear to King Herod.

When the angel came to bring the "good tidings of great joy," he passed by all of the religious leaders, rulers, and men of influence and power, and made the long awaited announcement to simple shepherds "keeping watch over their flock by night." (Luke 2: 8-20) Of course, this is not to say there is anything inherently wrong with being a leader, or having knowledge and influence. But it does tell us that God is not impressed with our degrees, titles, rituals, or position in the church or community. God looks at our heart, not our stature or pocketbook.

There was an old Bible teacher at a very large seminary who was highly regarded for his scholarly work, knowledge of Scripture and spiritual wisdom. One day some of his Bible students came to him and asked, "Professor, after all your years of study and great accomplishments in the field of Theology, what is the most important thing you've learned?" Without hesitation he answered, "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so."

The Apostle Paul writes, "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." (2Cor. 11: 3) God's word is not, nor was it intended to be, complicated. True Christianity is having simple faith in the simple truth.

So, as we celebrate this Christmas, let us enjoy the old, old stories, and the well known Christmas songs. But, we should also be mindful of the true Christmas message. If a person asks Christ to come into his life in simple faith, He will come, and He will come as surely to a shepherd as He will a king.
 Bro. Len Patterson, Th.D
                                    Chaplain, Army of Trans-Mississippi

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