To the Called Out Ones of Jesus Christ,
To The Called Out Ones of Jesus Christ (and to all those who would know Truth),
Fake news – we see it and hear it all around us now. Unfortunately, it has become a sign of the times in which we live. According to Wikipedia,
Fake news is a type of yellow journalism or propaganda that consists of deliberate misinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional print and broadcast news media or online social media. Fake news is written and published with the intent to mislead in order to damage an agency, entity, or person, and/or gain financially or politically, often with sensationalist, exaggerated, or patently false headlines that grab attention.
It’s bad enough when it pervades the political arena but when it becomes personal it is very hurtful and troublesome. Have you ever felt misunderstood? Have you ever had anyone tell lies about you, or, perhaps worse, tell a half truth? Maybe you’ve done something or been involved in something that tarnished your reputation but what gets shared in the public rumor mill is the worst of it. What is told is only half the truth and it’s the half that makes you look the worst. If so, then you may want to scream, “if they would only get to know me for who I really am, they would know that I’m not that way.”
Although we have seen this and perhaps experienced it, nowhere has there been a more intensely conducted fake news attack than toward the God of Heaven. The devil has been conducting his fake news campaign since the beginning when he planted that first seed of doubt in Eve’s mind – “did God really say…?” And his relentless assault on God’s character and very existence has never stopped. By the time the Roman Empire was the major power on earth, the true knowledge of God had greatly diminished. It had been 400 years since a prophet of God had spoken a word from Him. It have appeared to many that God was no longer present in earth’s affairs, or worse, He was not there at all. The darkness seemed to be overwhelming the earth and the knowledge of the Light was fading. It was in that context that God intervened and we have “Christmas.”
Christmas is the combination of two words, “Christ” and “mass.” The word means “the mass of Christ.” The English term “mass” evolved from the Anglo-Saxon word “maesse,” which is derived in turn from the Latin “missa,” which is a form of the verb “mittere,” which means “to send.” Therefore, the root meaning of Christ-mass is “to send Christ,” or “Christ is sent.” Paul referred to Immanuel’s incarnation as the sending of Christ – “When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman…” (Galatians 4:4)
Christmas is God’s answer to fake news, the fake news about Him. And, on one cool fall evening in one of the most unlikely places, God broke the silence and addressed the “media” …
“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord … . And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Luke 2:8-14 (NKJV)
The announcement of the angels to the shepherds over the skies of Bethlehem that night disrupted the silence and shattered the darkness. In this infamous announcement there was more than just the shock and awe of angels filling the sky. The message was one of joy and good tidings because God was coming to the world as a savior, not an angry, arbitrary, war-like God, to bring peace and goodwill. God was sending His own Son to earth to rebuff the fake news so that we could know Him for who He really is. Christmas – was (and is) God stepping into our world to shout “Here I AM. This is who I really AM. See ME. Know ME. Come back to ME.”
I offer the follow texts as an alternate Christmas story. Please read in light of the above:
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth….No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.” John 1:14 & 18
“The Son is the image of the invisible God…. for God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him.” Colossians 1:15 & 19.
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.” 1 John 1:1-4
“We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” 1 John 5:20
“Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:45-46
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him…. Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” John 14:6,7,9
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3
Christmas – the Incarnation of the living God, and the resulting death and resurrection (the life and death of Jesus Christ) – is the most important event in human history. (By the way, this is recognized every time you write down a date. The years on our calendar are defined by the birth of Christ!) During His lifetime, Jesus, among the many other things He accomplished, set the record straight and showed us who God really is. In doing so, He restored hope and truth and love to mankind, bringing us peace and the goodwill of the Godhead and inviting us to know Him. Truly this is a cause for joy!
As the saying goes, wise men still seek Him – the God who wants to be known. The greatest need of the world is for men and women who will devote themselves to the “knowledge” of God and to share that knowledge with others so that the fake news about God can be dispelled and people can know Him as He really is. He wants to be known and shared. Thank God for Christmas!
Have a joy filled Christmas!
For the sake of the world and the glory of God,
Saturday at the Mission – 8:30am
We are continuing to meet every Saturday in the “Upper Room” above the Dining area in the main building of the Union Gospel Mission, 1300 N. First Street, 98901. We meet from 8:30 – 10:00am.
Please enter at the SE entrance, across from the food pantry. After entering, go forward thru a short entry hall (15′) then turn right to go up the stairs to the Banquet Room. Call or text Dennis Crane if you have questions, (509) 910-7772.
Please invite others to come that share their desire for Transformation in the Yakima Valley.