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“And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus“ is the way Luke’s account of the Christmas story begins in chapter two. That decree caused Mary and Joseph to travel to Bethlehem, the city of David, where Jesus was born according to ancient prophecy. God’s timing is perfect as He carries out His will. Galatians 4:4–5 reads, “But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.”

For lo, the days have come to pass
By prophets seen of old,
When down into the circling years
Came Christ as was foretold.
His word of peace shall to the earth
God’s ancient promise bring,
And all who take this gift will hear
The song the angels sing.

God’s promises are true and find their “amen” in Jesus. Throughout the Old Testament God inspired His prophets to write down many promises of a Savior. The faithful people of God believed His promises and were saved by that faith even though they had not seen the Savior with their own eyes. They lived before Christmas and we live after Christmas. We also have not seen Jesus with our own eyes and yet, by the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit, we believe that on that first Christmas Christ took on Himself our human form, kept the law perfectly for us, preached the good news of salvation, performed countless miracles and then offered Himself up as the precious Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, ours included!

Christmas is a very joyous occasion as we celebrate our Lord’s first coming into the world but we also know that the shadow of the cross already hovered over the manger where the baby Jesus was laid. He was born to die in our place so that the door to heaven will be open to us and all who believe in Him as our only true Lord and Savior.

As Christian stewards we live in the light of the Gospel and freely and joyfully manage all of life and life’s resources for God’s purposes. God offered up His best for us and in response we strive to offer our best to Him. During this joyful Christmas season we have many opportunities to show our love for God by showing love to all the neighbors He has placed around us, especially those who have special needs of body, soul and spirit. May God help us to use our gifts of time, talents, skills and financial resources to His glory and the welfare of those around us. May He especially help us to be like the shepherds and spread the good news of salvation in Christ alone!

Saint John’s Stewardship Board promotes the development of good stewardship and giving patterns among the members of Saint John’s.