The Last Three Letters of Christmas | Mark’s Remarks

This is my final column in a series I’ve been writing based on Hank Hanegraaff’s book called “The Heart of Christmas.” As I’ve said the past two weeks, I hope you will pick up the book.

As I’ve told you, Hank used the acronym “Christmas” to talk about the true meaning of the holiday. It’s pretty interesting to me, and I hope at least a few of you have gotten something out of what I’ve shared with you.

We now find ourselves at the end of the word.  The last three letters. “M” stands for miracles.  If you read about Jesus, you are familiar with the miracles He performed here on Earth. Of course, we must also look at His actual birth when we are talking about miracles. I think many of us have heard the Christmas story so much we almost pass over the virgin birth. It was indeed a miracle.

Now, you’ve got all these new ager folks who like to talk about how Christianity leans toward the mystical and unbelievable at times. You see, the whole world, not just the new agers, struggles with what Jesus is all about. They want to have a Savior but they don’t want a Lord. Right? I mean, we sure want someone to bail us out but we do not want to follow any rules. Let me do my own thing and let me make my own decisions and believe what I want to believe. Hard to hear, but it’s true.

So, it’s no surprise many in the world want to downplay the miracle of the virgin birth. I don’t think we focus on it enough. I know I have passed over it for many years, believing it all but not really seeing what a miracle it is. It’s meant a lot to me to just focus on it for awhile. Let it sink in.

“A” stands for Advent. The Latin meaning of this word is “coming.” Jesus came here as a baby. I’ve already talked about prophecy and how His coming was foretold long before He was born. Abraham was promised a royal seed and that seed is Christ.

Advent is a word we think of only at Christmas.  We fail (at least I know I do) to remember there is a daily advent of Christ.  We are able to call on Him every day as we pray, read His word, and tell other people about Him. We should be prepared each day to share what we believe, why we believe it, and in whom we believe. He comes to us every day. The daily advent.

Finally, we must talk about the final advent. When He comes in the flesh again, He won’t come as a baby.  He will come as a bridegroom to carry His bride, the church, over the threshold of Jordan into the New Jerusalem. It’s all pretty cool to read about in the Bible.  It took me a while to even begin to understand some of the writings about the second coming and I find myself still trying to figure a lot of it out. Still, it’s as amazing to read about as is the miracle of His birth.

The “S” is the final letter in Christmas, and it stands for Salvation. Some of us have heard the plan of Salvation many times. Sometimes it is easily understood and sometimes it is not. People use words like “saved” and it is puzzling to some. I understand the use of Christian jargon often throws folks for a loop. It is my belief that we need it all simply put.

The three “R’s” of realizing, repenting and receiving, is one of the best ways to share the plan of salvation. We must realize we are all sinners. Maybe not horrible people, but sinners who need a Savior. We must repent of our sins, turning away from our old ways and turning toward Jesus. Finally, we must receive what Jesus Christ has offered us, trusting in Him and depending on Him. In this day and age, the trust and depending is difficult. After we receive the gift God has given us, I believe He increases our knowledge. In the beginning, we might not get the whole picture.   We just have to trust.

It is my prayer and my hope that you have peace this season, a peace that can only come through Jesus Christ. If you have stuck with me and read all of the three columns on Christmas, thank you. Many times, folks start reading something like this and stop after the subject matter gets too heavy. I get that.

But I do hope some of it has caused you to think about your relationship with God and where you are at. I can tell you that I’m one of the nastiest, most flawed people around and I am in dire need of not only a Savior, but also a Lord. What in the world would we do without Him?

May God bless you this season.

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Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.
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