Friday, November 30, 2018

Merry Christmas! 2018

Dr and Mrs Paul Manuel
5351 Church View Road
Loysburg, PA  16659

Dear Family and Friends,

Technology can be eminently frustrating or it can be eminently satisfying. For me, technology has been the former lately, when the letters on my computer keyboard began behaving erratically, sometimes responding and other times not. I often found myself pounding the keyboard in an effort to produce a single character. Fortunately, between my poor typing skills and my laborious thought process, my frustration was limited, as even under optimum conditions what I compose sometimes takes a while to form on a page.

Thankfully, God has no such limitations. Whatever He wishes to appear does so immediately, without delay. When He commanded angels to announce the birth of His son, there was no lag in their coming: "Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared" (Luke 2:13).

When Luke used the word 'suddenly,' it was only sudden from man's perspective, not from God's perspective. People were not expecting anything important to happen. For the shepherds, "keeping watch over their flocks" (Luke 2:8), Jesus' birth was a happy occasion, a joyous event that warranted their immediate attention "So, they hurried off and found the baby lying in a manger" (Luke 2:16).

This holiday has become so familiar to us that we sometimes view it as a burden, something to get through. Yet these days should also be a happy occasion because of what God did so many years ago.

God does not rely on technology to get things done. God does not rely on anything outside Himself. Unlike man He is independent, and God's independence will be evident in Jesus' second advent as it was in his first advent. We may think that any sudden action by God is well past by now. Yet, He does have more to come, "So you must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him" (Matt 24:44).

We may become impatient or frustrated when technology fails to provide the instant gratification we expect. There is no impatience or frustration with God. Whatever He plans runs smoothly and on schedule. That was the case with Jesus' first advent—"When the time had fully come, God sent his son" (Gal 4:4)—and it will be the case with Jesus' second advent, which will include some of the same characters:
Immediately after the distress of those days...the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky...and he will send his angels [to] gather his elect...from one end of the heavens to the other. (Matt 24:29-31)
We wish you a very Merry Christmas as well as a happy and healthy New Year, free from the frustration of failing technology. May our great God satisfy you with many blessings as you serve Him.

Merry Christmas!

Pastor Paul and Linda
For a pdf see here.

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Relevant and civil comments are welcome. Whether there will be any response depends on whether Dr. Manuel notices them and has the time and inclination to respond or, if not, whether I feel competent to do so.
Jim Skaggs