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Merry Christmas

December 25, 2012
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

Christmas is here and with it the joy of celebrating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the long awaited Messiah. The season of Advent has reminded us of Christ's return as we await the anniversary of His first arrival on earth as a vulnerable infant. The innocence and beauty displayed in the popular Nativity scenes do not prepare us for the cruel cross that awaits this newborn child. So we relish in the nostalgic moment of God becoming man.

The gift of unconditional love by our Creator for the salvation of our broken souls stands in stark contrast to the cruelties that continue in this world ransomed by the Savior's atoning blood. The recent atrocities at Sandy Hook Elementary that began with a son killing his mother are a shocking reminder of the brokenness that continues. Innocence destroyed. Lives shattered. Hope diminished as the cries of the dying rang out in pain.

Yet, from a humble stable we hear the cry of the Virgin's baby as the Christ Child takes His first breath in human form and hope is born again. The hope of the world shines through the darkness, lying in a manger. God has chosen to live as one of us. The Creator has accepted our trials, our tribulations and our sorrows as His own. We are not alone. More importantly, we are loved beyond measure.

It is this precious gift of divine love that enables us to continue our journey of faith through the darkness as we await His return. The returning Messiah will not come as a vulnerable child, but as the Conquering Warrior whose reign will know joy without end. It is for what will be and not for what is that we choose to live in His Love.

Please join us at the Beach Baptist Church as we celebrate God's precious gift of love.

To all of you a Blessed Advent and a Merry Christmas!!

Pastor Alice+

Saint Raphael's by the Sea

Fort Myers Beach



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