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Merry Christmas from our President & CEO

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
Titus 3:4-7 (NIV)

Another year has almost come and gone, and what an eventful year it has been! We have seen wars, elections, natural disasters, and human tragedies – all of the foibles, quirks, shortcomings and, yes, the sins of mankind on full display. There have been times when I experienced elation at the wonderful harmony with which human beings can cooperate, and then I would be nearly overcome with grief or revulsion at the depravity with which we behave at other times.

And through it all, I wondered to myself, “What possibly does God see in these frail and sinful creatures that He could love?” At Christmas time, that question takes on special relevance, as we celebrate the coming of the Savior into this world.

Does God see potential in us for progress to some higher ideal? Is that why He chose to provide a Savior? I think He does see potential in us, but I don’t think that’s the real reason He wants to save us. Along with all our potential for good, mankind also displays the terrible potential for evil so unexplainable that it can only be called gratuitous. For all our advances, we still regress often enough to obscure any progress we make. If Jesus came to be a leader who would show us the way to better behavior, the world has been excruciatingly slow at learning its lessons.

Does God see some innate good in us? Most humans are certainly capable of good. We see flashes of it in even the most retrograde of our society. Some among us have dedicated their entire lives to doing good works. Even our laws demonstrate a desire to be good. Yet our failures to be good – or to be righteous, as the Bible would put it – seem so prevalent that concluding humans are innately good requires a willing blindness to the reality of this world.

No, none of these reasons explain why God would send a Savior to Bethlehem. The real reason is just simply because He is merciful. It is in His nature to be gracious toward those who don’t deserve forgiveness, to extend fellowship and reconciliation toward those who are estranged and alienated from Him.

So one night in Bethlehem, when conditions in the Mediterranean world were ripe, God poured out His Kindness, appearing in the bodily of form of Jesus, whom we have come to know as His Son and Our Savior. Undeserved and even unsought, this Kindness became our salvation, our substitute in death and our prototype in resurrection. Because He came, and because He lives, as the song says, we can face tomorrow, and we can know that in the face of a cold, brutal, and evil world, the Kindness of our God has come to dwell with us and in us.

This Christmas, as you gather with your family and friends to celebrate, to feast, to exchange gifts, may God’s Kindness be shed abroad in your heart, along with His great love, through Jesus our Lord.

From all of us at Ministry Partners, have a very, merry Christmas!

Warmest Regards,