Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Forgiveness: One Gift You Forgot to Give

Christmas, the wonderful season of gift-giving, continues. And there may be one gift you have neglected to give –a gift another would love to open – a gift that was given to you because of Christmas. Just as Paul warned the Corinthians to observe the festival of Passover – which they did coming to the Lord’s Supper – by getting rid of the yeast of malice and wickedness, so you should take care to observe Christmas in the same fashion.

In this season of gift-giving, the central gift that all of us must receive is the gift of forgiveness – which gift God gave us in His Son. But it is also the central gift which we must give – fully – and completely – and quickly – just as God has given to us. His name is Jesus – the angel told Joseph, for He shall save His people from their sins. Never forget the point of the coming of Jesus.

And never forget what Jesus requires as well. In the strongest possible terms He demands that we give the same gift we received to one another – in an open-handed, joy-filled way – He teaches us to pray “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” You cannot honor Jesus in Christmas without honoring these words. Are there any whom you have not forgiven? Are you carrying any resentments? Are you harboring the yeast of malice in your heart? Do you reserve the right to grumble and criticize others? If you will not forgive, your giving of any other Christmas gift in the name of Christmas is hypocrisy. But such hypocrisy cannot be resolved by asking for the gifts back, throwing away the presents, and keeping the bitterness. Lay it all down – get rid of it – drop what you are harboring in your heart. Jesus Christ was born – for heaven’s sake – do you not know He will take care of any injustice done to you – consider the injustice you have brought upon Him? Forgive – open and give this Christmas present – you must have missed it – it’s right there – under the tree…

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thomas Jefferson and Terrorism

From an article by Attorney Jonathan Emord

In March 1785 Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met with Tripoli’s Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja. They asked the Ambassador why his nation waged war on American shipping. In a response that could have been given by Osama bin Laden, the Ambassador stated: “It was written in the Qu’ran that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet [Mohammed] were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave, and that every Muslim who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise . . .”

Terrorism in the 18th century.