- By Peter Amsterdam Peter Amsterdam and his wife, Maria Fontaine, are directors of the Family Internatio­nal, a Christian community of faith. ■

Christmas celebrates the most important birth in human history, when the Creator of the universe entered our world in bodily form as both God and man in Jesus. An angel appeared to announce Jesus’ birth to a few shepherds who were watching their sheep at night. “I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people,” the angel proclaimed, “for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”1

As I was thinking about that,

I was reminded of another event that took place a few days later.

When Jesus’ parents presented Him in the temple, in accordance with the Mosaic Law, they met an old man who had received a personal promise from God. The man’s name was Simeon, and God had told him that he would not die before seeing the Messiah. When Simeon saw the baby Jesus, he took Him in his arms, praised God, and said, “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”2

Both proclamati­ons make it clear that Jesus came to bring salvation to “all people”—anyone who would believe in Him, regardless of race, religion, background, or anything else. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlastin­g life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”3

“Whoever believes.” Salvation is God’s Christmas gift to you and me.

If you haven’t received God’s ultimate Christmas gift, you can right now by welcoming Jesus as your Savior. Simply pray a prayer like the following: Jesus, I want to experience God’s love and care, which are promised through You, “the way, the truth, and the life.” I open my heart and 4 invite You in. Please forgive my sins, fill me with Your Holy Spirit, and give me eternal life. Amen.

Oh Christmas star, shine your light and guide us all to the true meaning of Christmas! Direct us to the Savior, the Prince of Peace, that we too may have peace in our hearts and good will toward all men.—Troi Fountain

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