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Picture of the day - December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Today is Christmas, the day of the year on which Christians all around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ - our Lord and Saviour. In the Gospels we read how Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary in a lowly stable on a cold night in Bethlehem, and even as He lay there wrapped up in a bundle of old rags His unique glory among His human peers shined through.

Mary and her husband Joseph didn't have much to offer the newborn child in the way of gifts or earthly possessions, but they had something much more important to offer Him: the deep love, affection and care worthy of God Himself. The happy couple understood clearly that God had entrusted them with the responsibility of giving birth to, raising, and caring for HIS only son. And they did a magnificent job at it.

Jesus' status was unique in the history of human life on planet earth. Not only was He fully human, He was also fully God, sent down from Heaven to save a dying world from the ultimate punishment for our sins. Only He was qualified to accomplish that task, and He did it some 33 years later at Calvary.

The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ changed the world more than any of us can even imagine, and it all started on that cold night in Bethlehem a little more than 2,000 years ago. That little baby who was born under the most humble of conditions grew up to become the most powerful, compassionate, and influential man to ever walk the face of the earth.

Although the earthly Jesus was a King in every sense of the word, He never reigned on a throne or ruled over the masses with an iron fist. Instead, he passionately spread the message of His Father's love and of His own impending sacrifice to the world through love the likes of which only He could feel for the rest of us - even those who hated Him and would eventually kill Him.

I understand that the world has plenty of folks who aren't Christians. They have their own beliefs outside the realm of Christianity, and if they happen to live in a free society they are welcome to worship whomever, and however they choose. That's the way it should be, and I'm happy that I live in a country where we have such religious freedom...

That being said, today is Christmas Day. On this day we Christians celebrate the birth of the Christ child and the amazing Man that He grew up to be. In our free society we shouldn't be having to go to court to fight for the right to place monuments to an event that we hold so sacred in public places. And if you happen to hold something or someone other than Jesus sacred in keeping with your own faith, you shouldn't have to do it either.

We each should be allowed to honor our respective religious leaders and holidays as we see fit, in private and on our public grounds. And on this most sacred of all Christian holidays, that means celebrating Christmas and the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Happy Birthday Jesus!

Note: As always on Christmas Day, I did not publish a photograph for the "Picture of the Day" feature of Instead, I prefer to let my Saviour - the picture of perfection and all that is good and holy - shine His light upon the world. Merry Christmas everyone!

Name: Phyllis Helton
Town: Bristol, VA


Name: Ron Trees
Town: Spokane, WA

Hi Rick and Cheria,

I just wanted to say that I enjoyed what you posted today instead of a picture. You share your faith daily from your site and I am sure it touches many every day with the love of our Heavenly Father. Thanks for your friendship!!

Merry Christmas, Ron

Name: Judith Anderson
Town: Tupelo, MS

I just love your Christmas "pictures". They are surely the best ones of the year! It's good to know that there are some people who still understand and respect what Christmas is really all about.

Name: Gail Grantham
Town: Newport News, VA

What a wonderful story! It's a shame that us Christians have to go to such lengths to erect public monuments to our faith. Thanks so much for helping bring the matter to the forefront of our minds. Oh, and by the way, I absolutely love seeing the "Picture of the Day" every morning but I'm glad you made the decision long ago not to post one on Christmas Day. It shows a deep respect for our loving Saviour and this most important of all Christian holidays.

Name: Rick Rouse
Town: Abingdon, VA

Thanks for your comments everyone, and I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends!

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