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Could you not but pray for an hour?
In his hour of desperation, Jesus couldn’t count on his disciples to pray. He was in the Garden of Gethsemane. He knew they were going to arrest him within minutes. He was so stressed out, he sweated blood drops. He prayed, and he asked his disciples to pray.
They fell asleep.
Do we likewise fall asleep when it is time to pray?
Nicholas gave his money away to help people. The legend is that he anonymously helped young ladies pay their dowry by throwing the money in the window. It fell into socks hanging on the hearth. His good deeds became known, and he was named bishop of Myra in what is now Turkey.
Then he died and went to Heaven, where he is alive and well. Don’t look for him at the South Pole. You’ll only find penguins.
The real gift-giver is Jesus. He’s not bringing a sack of toys. He offers far greater presents: the unpayable ransom of your soul, forgiveness, restoration, blessing, acceptance. Sorry Toys-R-Us, Jesus gives priceless stuff.
The wise men came bringing gifts to Jesus, but Jesus IS the gift to humanity.
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Tagged bishop of Myra, Christianity, gifts, inspiration, Jesus, life, motivation, Nicholas, presents, Santa Claus, thoughts
This generation believes — oddly — that humiliation brings reformation.
But Joseph refused to open his — apparently unfaithful — fiance to public scandal. She was found to be pregnant before the wedding, and Joseph knew he wasn’t the father.
Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily –– Matt. 1: 19 KJV. Justice — righteousness — was being considerate and tender with her.
Shaming can be traumatic, emotionally damaging. It is antithetical to God’s plan: He forgives and forgets. His lovingkindness (not severity) is what leads to repentance (Ro. 2:4). We despise the Puritans, and then we practice their worst.
This Christmas give the ultimate gift: forgiveness with forgetfulness. If restoration is your aim, drop the Nazi tactic of shaming.