Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Death to Life at Christmas: Part 1

PART I. The story of Christmas is about Death to Life. Jesus came as a baby, born in a manger. The redeemer of the world. God - Literally here on earth. But He didn't just come to be cute and have us throw a party in His honor every year. He came as a gift - offered to all of us for us to accept. He offers Himself to take on the sins of the world so that we may have eternal life if we believe and follow Him. As a Father, God gave us His son, which we celebrate at Christmas, so that He would die for us, which we mourn and celebrate during Easter. He showed us His majesty and triumph over sin by RISING and offering us eternal life.

Can you imagine giving up a child to die for the betterment of others? As a father of a beautiful 6 month old girl, Avery Joy, I'm immensely thankful for this incredible gift that God has bestowed upon my wife, Katie, and I. Avery's giggles, new tricks, and even tears at 3am bring enormous joy to all who encounter her. When I think about Jesus being born for the purposes of dying for me, this strikes me in such a more powerful way now that I have a child. He came to redeem you and me and invite us into His Kingdom if we only believe.

The Christ-mas story of Jesus' birth and future death helps me see the redemptive value of death. Though our thoughts are of great anticipation for life at Christmas, I challenge you to also reflect on Christ's death this Christmas -- His death so that we may have life.

At Forgotten Voices International, we interact with death a lot. A LOT. I've now sat with hundreds of people in their final stages of life. I've met hundreds of parents, caregivers, and kids who are no longer alive. I've sat under trees, holding the hands of men and women...praying for them and asking God to grant them peace in their suffering. I've watched so many parents cling to life, fearing what will happen to their children after they pass away.

Because of Christ's example of sacrificing Himself so that others may have life, the Church has an example to follow. A promise of redemption in the darkness.

Tomorrow, in Part 2, I'd like to share pictures from a profoundly significant day in my life leading Forgotten Voices. Pictures I haven't seen in a couple years until preparing for this post. Pictures that are around me but I've been unable to look. But this year, by looking at Christmas as a story of Death to Life, I'm learning to love and trust in God in new ways. I want to show you what God is teaching me and how our partners in Africa are offering hope to all of us, in the midst of darkness. Jesus' birth showed them.

May God grant you peace and joy in the busy season that is Christmas in America. May you stop and reflect - with great anticipation - for the coming of our King.

Until tomorrow,

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