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Read Matthew 11:2-6.
Jesus replied, "Tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive
sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the
dead are raised and good news is preached to the poor. Blessed
is he who is not offended by Me." Matthew 11:4-5

One of my Dad's worst Christmases was in 1976. On the 21st of
December he was on a step-ladder at church, trying to close a
window that was stuck open. As he tugged on the window the
ladder gave way; he smashed into the wall fracturing his shoulder
in three places and cutting a deep gash into his shin. He spent
that Christmas in agony sitting day and night in a chair in the living
room, waiting for his shoulder to heal.

Do circumstances in your life ever steal away the joy of your
Christmas? Do they raise doubts in your mind about the Child of
Christmas-if He is really God's Son? Do you ever wonder why there
is still so much suffering in our lives and in our world if Jesus came
to save the world? This Christmas many of you will find or still find
yourself unemployed. Others have lost loved ones whose absence
is keenly felt this time of year. Some have lost marriages. Some
may even be facing the prospect that this will be their last
Christmas on earth.

Similar thoughts darkened John the Baptist's mind. He was locked
in a dungeon because he had done exactly what the Lord
commanded him to do: he had warned the wicked ruler Herod
Antipas to repent. Like the prophets before him, he preached of
 judgment, but now John was the only one facing the judgment!
There in the dark, gloomy dungeon John couldn't see Jesus very
clearly. He sent word to ask if Jesus was the One or should the
people of Israel be looking for another.

Jesus reminded John of the very things He came into this world
to do: giving sight to the blind, restoring the lame and the
paralyzed, cleansing those with leprosy, restoring hearing to the
deaf, raising the dead, and preaching good news to the poor. All
of these were signs to prove Jesus was God's Son. And at the
same time they pointed ahead to the future when Jesus Christ
will raise all the dead and change every living believer to enjoy
perfect health in a perfect creation in God's wonderful presence

The Child of Christmas is here to comfort and help you through
all your struggles, your doubts, your darkness, and your pain.
He knows how hard it is when you are misunderstood, judged,
and condemned. He was nailed to the cross because of the
jealous rage of His enemies. But He rose again on the third day
to remind us that God is the victor, and through faith in Jesus
Christ, God will share that great victory with each of us.


Lord Jesus, in those times when my spirit is in the darkness
of despair lift me up. Forgive my sins, restore my joy, and
strengthen my faith and trust in You. Give me patience until
You bring relief. Amen.

(Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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