From the Family Research Council.
“In a world enhanced by technology, communication, and prosperity, it’s easy to believe that mankind is somehow better off now than it was 2,000 years ago. And while innovation has made life more comfortable, even it can offer no cure for the deepest of all human agonies–the bondage of sin. These days, we often forget that the world wasn’t saved by global diplomacy or self-sufficiency. It took a willing spirit. A primitive manger. And broken men who recognize that salvation lies not within themselves but with the baby born that quiet night to a dark and weary world. Yet God’s message of hope and redemption was just as threatening to rulers then as it is today. Like so many across the globe, our Chinese brothers and sisters are still paying a costly price for their government’s ancient jealousy. This year, 70 of their bravest pastors will spend Christmas in prison because they dared to put their trust not in the government but in the Prince of Peace. They were arrested for believing that God is moving and working in their world, just as He was centuries ago, to fulfill the prophecies begun on Christmas day. For their families and friends, the season is a time of holy and sacred reverence, celebrated in secret and observed in underground gatherings. Some will travel through dangerous countryside, risking their own capture, to commemorate their ultimate freedom through Christ. There they exchange the religious tumult of these times for the peace and tranquility of the manger. There they reflect on Bethlehem’s truth that while tyranny may govern their lives, only God can govern men’s hearts. And it is there, in this atmosphere of persecution and despair, that the Messiah’s light shines its brightest–promising deliverance to all who believe. May they exult like Zachariah, who said:
Praise be to the Lord, the God of, because he has come and has redeemed his people. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David… to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. (Luke 1:68,74)
At, when we are so distracted by Christ’s flashy competition, America has much to learn from the persecuted church. I pray that this year we humbly embrace the simplicity of the season and rejoice in the saving Love reborn each day. From everyone at FRC, we wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”