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December 1, 2013

“My” Birthday

“The day to celebrate my birthday is just 3 weeks away. That day is celebrated every year. In preparation for the day, announcements on radio and commercials on TV advise the day is getting closer and people are told to shop for gifts.

It is nice to know, that at least once a year, some people think of me. As you know, I was born more than 2000 years ago. At first people seemed to understand and be grateful for all that I did for them, but in these days, no one seems to know the reason for the celebration. Families and friends get together and have a lot of fun, but they don’t seem to know the reason for the celebration.

Last year there was a great feast in my honour. The dinner table was full of delicious foods, pastries, fruits, assorted nuts and chocolates. The room was beautifully decorated and at one end there was a magnificent tree decorated with sparkly lights and wonderful ornaments. Exquisitely wrapped gifts were piled high under the tree but something was wrong. This was my birthday, but I hadn’t been invited. The host and hostess hadn’t bothered to send me, the guest of honour, an invitation. On my birthday, their door was closed to me. Although I longed to be with them and share their table and their merry-making, they did not want me there. In truth, it seems that, in recent years more and more people close their doors to me.

I decided to attend the party anyway, without them knowing I was there. Noiselessly and unobtrusively I entered the room and stood apart in a corner to observe what was happening. Many guests were drinking. Some had drunk too much and were telling unclean jokes and laughing at things that made me blush. Nonetheless they appeared to be having a great time.

Around midnight the people gathered around the tree, and soon a large fat man burst into the room shouting “Ho, ho, ho.” He had a long white beard and was dressed all in red. He made his way to a sofa near the tree and sat down. All the children ran to him, saying, “Santa, Santa!” as if they knew him well. Sadly, no child paid any attention to me standing alone in the corner.

Santa got up and went to the tree. He began to distribute the gifts to children and adults alike. One by one every gift was opened. I wondered if there might be one gift for me among such a great wealth of presents, but there was nothing. On my birthday many wonderful gifts were shared, but no one so much as had a thought for me.

When it came time to leave, the guests all hugged their host and hostess and each other. I extended my arms waiting for a hug from them, but no one hugged me. I understood. I was unwanted at that party so I left as I had come, quietly and unnoticed.

Every year, so many people celebrate my birthday. They eat, drink, and make merry and they even call it by my name, Christmas, but I am the forgotten guest. Truly I say to you, I would like you to allow me to be present in your home and in your heart this Christmas. Over two thousand years ago I came into the world to bring you salvation. I gave my life for you on the cross. Believe this Good News with all your heart. I have planned a magnificent celebration, for all who believe, a grandiose party, one such as no one can imagine. Each and every day I send out many invitations and there is one for you. If you want to attend, RSVP by opening your heart to receive me as an honoured guest and I will see to it that your name is written in my guest book in golden letters. If your name is not on the guest list, you will not be allowed in. Extend this invitation to all your family and friends. All who respond, will be welcomed.

I love you and I hope to see you at my party.”

Love, Jesus.

Maranatha, Come, Lord Jesus!

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