Christmas is a time to joyfully celebrate the birth of our wonderful Lord and Saviour, the Messiah, Jesus. Around the world Christians gather together to proclaim this most joyous and holy event in human history, without which human kind would be lost forever in total darkness.
In my own immediate family, we come together as one to give thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ for loving us enough to come out of eternity and into a world full of strife and sin, caring enough about us to suffer an unspeakable death and atone for the wrath that God required of Him, his only begotten Son, to take away the immeasurable burden of sin in the world. We thank God that we are so blessed to be free. This makes it a truly Merry Christmas for us.
For other Christians, though, it is not possible for them to be together at this joyous time. They can only hope and dream of what western believers in Christ take for granted -- being with those family members who mean so much to them. In certain parts of the world, such as the Middle East and countries controlled by Islamic and communist governments such as Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan North Korea, Loas and China to name just a few Christians are not as fortunate. In fact, being Christian is an automatic death sentence in the Middle East.
For instance, Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of three young children who was falsely accused of blasphemy against the Islamic prophet Muhammad in Pakistan remains in isolation in prison since 2009. A charge Asia denies, she was sentenced to death in 2010; and Asia is still awaiting an appeal with a very long wait anticipated.
The good news is that we are not without hope because we serve a God of miracles, and not a dead God. The miraculous conception of our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, is a miracle. Our Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13:8. Our God heals His people every day and our God sets people free every day.
In this most holy season that we celebrate the birth of our great God, Jesus Christ, when we gather with our families, let us remember to pray for our not so fortunate brothers and sisters around the world who are being held in prisons in extreme conditions because they love the Lord Jesus Christ that this will be the year that the Lord chooses to set them free once and for all.
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