“Olly Olly Oxen Free!”
The words ring out. Children pour from their hiding places assured of their safety. Something in the game has changed. The threat of penalty has been eliminated. This phrase was an old-school re-set. A new “it” counts to ten, the children scramble to hide again, and then ready or not, “it” comes searching.
Christmas arrives similarly. The countdown begins months in advance. We scramble to fulfill our culturally imposed Christmas duties in an ever increasing panic of the dreaded phrase: ready or not, here it comes!
- Five days remain. Is the baking finished?
- Four days. Are the gifts wrapped?
- Three days. I still have to decorate.
- Two days. Are there any new places where I can stage that silly elf for the children to find?
- One day. Hang the stockings. Light the candles. Leave out the cookies and milk.
- Ready or not, Christmas is here!
Year after year, multiple generations snuggle by the fire pursuing the promise of a wonderful life. But when we search 34th street for a miracle that can only be found in a manger, we are left wanting.
Ready or not, God spoke. He called creation into existence, declaring His unparalleled glory, breathing life into you and me. He spoke to us through prophets and His Word. Prophecy after prophecy announced his imminent arrival, but we did not listen. Finally, God put on skin and stooped to earth to speak to us face to face through a miracle that began in a manger.
Olly Olly Oxen Free! Something has changed! Come out of hiding and meet the One who has paid the penalty.Tweet
This God-child, born needy and weak, meets all needs for all of time in His perfect strength. He pursues your heart through the cross. He speaks forgiveness in His dying breath and brings life through His resurrection. The Pharisees were not ready, yet they should have known. They had read the prophecies. They had memorized the Word of God, but distracted by tradition and greed; they missed His arrival.
And, so might we.
Christmas is more than jolly and generous gift-giving. It’s more than tradition and making a list rooted in greed and desire. It’s our reminder that the call to safely come out from hiding will not ring out forever. One day, the lion of Judah, the root of David, the slain Lamb, who was born in the manger, died, rose again, and ascended into heaven, will return and collect His own. He will take the scroll and break its seal. He will open the books and judge the living and the dead. He will establish a new heaven and a new earth, a holy city, a new Jerusalem, prepared as a bride for her husband. Because of Him, the dwelling place of God will be with man. The Great I Am is the Son of the Most High and His kingdom will have no end.
Ready or not, Christ is coming again! This is the message of Christmas that began thousands of years ago in the manger. Behold, He will make all things new. He will be called holy—the Son of God. Olly Olly Oxen Free. The penalty is paid for those who repent and believe. They can safely enter the presence of the living God and worship Him for all eternity. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.
Both books are part of an online book tour. If you visit the daily tour stops, you can enter for your chance to win the morse code bracelet featured in Mistletoe Mission. The tour starts tomorrow; visit http://www.celebratelit.com/mistletoe/ to participate.
#Christmas #books Mistletoe Mission and Mistletoe Melody are part of an online book tour from Dec 20-Jan 2. Visit the daily tour stops & enter for a chance to win the morse code bracelet featured in Mistletoe Mission. http://www.celebratelit.com/mistletoe/Tweet
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