As I retrieve boxes of Christmas decorations from the attic, holiday music plays in the background.
I carefully place crèches atop the mantel and on tabletops, unwrap the football Santas and distribute them around the sunroom and then fill vases with greenery from the farm.
The recent programs at church provided musical adrenalin straight to my heart where it was pumped to my brain causing lyrics and notes to dance in my head all through the night.
Since my last blog post at Thanksgiving, I have joyfully anticipated Christmas Day with kids and grandkids.
Pastor Jordan Easley reaffirmed my joyful state with his sermon last week reminding the congregation that because of Jesus there can be joy any time anywhere to those who accept Christ as their Savior.
Yesterday my joyful existence wavered a bit as I looked through my Twitter feed and came upon this letter on @CBNNews. It is from Pastor Saeed Abedini who was jailed by the Iranian government two years ago for refusing to recant his faith.
He writes about being too cold to sleep at night and facing Christmas without any family close by and is instead surrounded by men who despise him for his love of Christ.
Here is part of his Christmas letter.
Christmas means that God came so that He would enter your hearts.
Christmas is the day that the heat of the life-giving fire of God’s love shone in the dark cold wintry frozen hearts and burst forth in this deadly wicked world.
The same way that the heat from the earth’s core melts the hard stones in itself and produces lava, the fiery love of God, Jesus Christ, through the virgin Mary’s womb came to earth on Christmas to melt the hard heart of sin and wickedness of the world and removes them from our life. In the same process, the work of the Holy Spirit is a fiery rain of God’s Holiness and Mercy that flows into our body, soul and spirit and brings the light of Christ into us and through us making this dark, cold, wintry world into radiant burning brightness. He is turning our world into a world full of peace, joy, and love that is so different than the dark, cold, and wintry world that we used to live in. Hallelujah!
So this Christmas let the lava-like love of Christ enter into the depth of your heart and make you fiery, ready to pay any cost in order to bring the same lava love to the cold world around you, transforming them with the true message of Christmas.
Pastor Saeed Abedini
Mother wrote in her journal, “My strength comes from the Lord and there is joy in knowing He is enough.”
If I had the power to release this man of God, he would be free and with his family on Christmas Day, and that would be the extent of my planning. God is capable of more than I can ever imagine and therein is the only joy I can find in this situation.
Until God fulfills His purpose for Pastor Abedini, I can pray for a blanket to keep him warm.