Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas perspective from Iraq

Wow. I just received an email from a dear friend who went to college with Chase. He currently is deployed to Iraq. He sent us an email that was powerful. It gives a much needed perspective on the meaning of Christmas. It's well worth the read. Thank you for sharing Robert!

As I celebrate this Christmas in Iraq it is difficult to think of the birth of Christ as anything but the most bold sneak attack in the history of history. The same God who who trades twenty-two thousand soldiers for three hundred, would now dare to plan an invasion of earth in the form of a young woman, a Godly but little known man named Joseph, and a baby. Trusting these parents to raise and care for God who in this incredible plan shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-that is, the devil-and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

As I read the description of angels who destroy thousands of Assyrian warriors in a single night, every first born child and animal in Egypt, and certainly the rider on the white horse with eyes of blazing fire and a sword which comes out of his mouth to destroy the nations I can think of a few other options I might choose for an invasion of earth. Yet God in his sovereign plan and infinite wisdom chose a baby who wins the war, conquers death, and then leaves the responsibility to tell the rest of the world that the enemy has been defeated to the least likely candidates He could have chosen. Somehow those who were faithless, through Him became faithful and have brought us the same mission today.

I of course will miss being home with all of you during this holiday season. It is certainly a special time to be with family and friends, but if I must be away I am thankful that it is because God has chose to give me a role in the invasion that began two thousand years ago with a baby. Pray that I who so often have been faithless would through Him be faithful to the calling He has given me. I do need to thank everyone who has encouraged me through emails, letters, and care packages. It encourages me to hear God's work in your lives, and to hear how you are living out His calling in your own lives.

As a chaplain section we will of course have a lot going on during this next week and you can pray for the Christmas production put on by our Gospel choir, for all of the the Bible Studies going on including the WWF "Weekly Word Fellowship", our Christmas Eve and Day services, and even the Christmas movie marathon we are hosting. The plan is for our new chapel to be open, at least for one day and so I also would ask you to pray that the construction still needed is completed and we are able to move in and dedicate the building on Christmas Eve. Finally as important as events can be, pray for individual Soldiers, by name if you know them, that during this Christmas those who know Christ would have the peace that the King has come and conquered. For those who do not know Jesus pray that this would be the year they respond to the savior they have never know as their own. I wish you and all your families a Merry Christmas and pray that you are able to celebrate the invasion of our Lord. I pray that we would invite Him to invade each of our lives in a special way this Christmas.
God Bless


Chrys and Mike said...

beautifully written. wow.

Lauren said...

Thanks for posting this...I know it will mean a lot to Rob. I never thought of the Christmas story as being a "beautiful invasion," but have come to not look at it that way. Hope you and Chase are doing well. Much Love, Lauren