Pastor’s Message – December 2020
The words “lockdown, curfew, orders and mandates” are now before the eyes and ears of the members and friends of Market Street Presbyterian Church and the entire United States and even the rest of the world. The use of these words and the power of their actions recalls the situation of the birth of our Lord Jesus. When Jesus was born, the Romans ruled, and the Jews were under the authority of Caesar. Herod was King! Upon hearing of the birth of a possible Messiah, Herod’s rule and reign was threatened. The wise men, or magi from the East, who came to worship Jesus, encountered Herod, the King. Herod, in his cunning ways, attempted to trick the wise men to share with him the exact location of the birth of this possible Messiah. By divine intervention, the evil plans of Herod were spoiled. The Gentile visitors from the land of the East met the Messiah and presented their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Christ child and His mother, Mary, and father, Joseph. (See Matthew 2:1-12.) Later, it is thought that these valuable gifts were used by Mary and Joseph to finance their stay while in hiding in Egypt. (See Matthew 2:13-23)
One aspect of the Christmas story that is widely overlooked is the terrible slaughter of innocent children. Herod, in his wicked ways, ordered the killing of male children two years and under. While it is impossible to know exactly how many innocent male children were killed by the sword of Herod, one estimate is about twenty-five or thirty. This estimate was based upon the possible size of the population of the city of Jerusalem at the time and the possible birth rate of male children with that size population. So, it is speculation as to how many were taken from this life by the actions of an evil king. But, we do know on the basis of Holy Scripture that there was “a slaughter of innocents.”
While the public might be aware of statistics related to the current situation of Covid-19, I wonder if the public even thinks about the loss of human life due to open abortion practices in our land. In a very real way, there is still “a slaughter of innocents” today in our land of America. The actual loss of our most valuable resource, human life, could be as high as 60 million lives, since the infamous Roe. V. Wade decision of 1973. While I am not asking anyone to ignore the current statistics on the virus, I am pleading for all to also think about the statistical information of the loss of our very young and innocent lives due to the implementation of abortion practices in our nation.
The above information is not usually part of Christmas drama programs in churches, schools, or communities. But, I thought that the church needs to hear that Christ came to defeat the power of the evil one, the devil, and the evil that exists in our land and around the world. (See I Jn. 3:8) Therefore, the Christmas story is much more than warm emotions and the exchange of personal gifts. The essence of the Christmas story is about a Messiah and a Deliverer who will defeat the power of sin, death, evil and the evil one and bring life to believers. (See John 10:10.)
So, on December 25th and days following, we can be like the wise men and rejoice “with exceedingly great joy” (Matt. 2:10). Why? Jesus, Immanuel, God in the flesh, was born!
Pastor Ken Chorle