The Word Has It
“Strengthen me according to Your word,” Psalm 119:28
MARBC State Representative
You can also download a PDF of the December 2007 Baptist Testimony
(1 mb PDF; PC: Right click / MAC: Control click on the link and choose “Save As”)
December's Word: “Room”
“And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7
“Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown,
When Thou camest to earth for me;
But in Bethlehem's home was there found no room
For Thy holy nativity.”
(“Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne,” Emily E.S. Elliott, 1836-1897)
We have entered perhaps the most celebrated and recognized season of the year worldwide. Even those who do not personally embrace Christianity participate in this year end observance of good will. This presents a special challenge for those of us who do embrace the Christ of Christmas and seek to clearly present the purpose for His coming into the world.
Several years ago Dr. William Brock, one of my friends and mentors who served as the State Representative for the Ohio Association of Regular Baptist Churches, shared the following story in a Christmas letter sent to the pastors of Ohio. He prefaced the story by sharing that this was one of his favorite stories associated with Christmas. After I read it, it became one of mine as well. I have enjoyed sharing this story regularly over the years in my messages and Christmas devotionals. I trust that it will be a blessing to you as you read it.
“Trouble in the Inn”
by Dina Donohue
For years now whenever Christmas pageants are talked about in a certain town in the Midwest, someone is sure to mention the name of Wallace Purling. Wally's performance in one annual production of the Nativity play has slipped into the realm of legend. But the old-timers who were in the audience that night never tire of recalling exactly what happened.
Quite a touching story, isn't it? As I have read Wally's sincere invitation to Joseph and Mary throughout the years, it has always caused my voice to quiver and tears to collect in my eyes. Please remember during these busy days of preparation for special Christmas ministries, gift purchasing, tree trimming, and family gatherings that the most important aspect of Christmas is to be sure to invite Jesus to be the central part of your life and your observances.
Emily Elliott concluded the poem that is quoted at the beginning of this column with the invitation: “O come to my heart, Lord Jesus – there is room in my heart for Thee!” In referring to the purpose for Christ's coming at Bethlehem, John 1:12-13 shares, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” My friend, please make sure that this is true for you.
The joyful news and most precious gift of every Christmas season is – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)
You have His Word on it! (KEF)