Churchnet December 2016 - Page 7

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Soon, magi from the East will come laden with significant gifts to pay homage to the baby who is ensconced in a house in Bethlehem.

Soon, the one who is dressed in the robes of our humanity and who takes on our vulnerability will be forced into refugee status on account of the tyranny of a deluded ruler bent on ending the earthly life of anyone he regards as a potential rival for power.

This is indeed a season of surprises.

In Jesus we encounter the gracious God who becomes like us and offers us the opportunity to become what we are made to be — human beings who are transformed through the supreme, unmerited gift of salvation.

This Christmas, the Christchild comes again seeking a home in our hearts, offering us life that is abundant and full — eternal life. God surprises us again with the gift of God's own self. If you acknowledge this gift, the Holy Spirit will lead you into life in all its fullness and so grant you blessedness in this world and in the world to come.

(Note: this column first appeared in the website of the Baptist World Alliance,