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Dear friends and neighbors:

Well, we made it through another Thanksgiving. Hope you had a good one and found ways to express your gratitude and appreciation for the multitude of blessings you enjoy – especially for the blessings of your family and friends.
In the midst of our blessings, however, we have also experienced loss. Several of our outstanding citizens and close Christian friends have been “called home” by the Lord recently. While we rejoice in their victory, we also mourn their passing. In light of these events, let me share with you a little story I ran across recently that speaks to the life-cycle of our birth, our existence in this world, and our death.
Once upon a time, twin boys were conceived in the womb. Seconds, minutes, hours passed as the two embryonic lives developed. The spark of life grew and each tiny brain began to take shape and form. With the development of their brain came feeling, and with feeling, perception – a perception of surroundings, of each other, and their own lives. They discovered that life was good, and they laughed and rejoiced in their hearts.
One said to the other, “We sure are lucky to have been conceived and to have this wonderful world.”
The other chimed in, “Yes, blessed be our mother who gave us life and each other.”
Each of the twins continued to grow and soon their arms and fingers, legs and toes began to take shape. They stretched their bodies and churned and turned in their little world. They explored it and found the life cord which gave them life from their mother’s blood. They were grateful for this new discovery and sang, “How great is the love of our mother – that she shares all she has with us.”
Weeks passed into months, and with the advent of each new month, they noticed a change in each other and in themselves.
“We are changing,” one said. “What can this mean?”
“It means,” said the other, “that we are drawing near to the day of our birth.”
An unsettling chill crept over the two. They were afraid of birth, for they knew that it meant leaving their wonderful world behind.
Said the one, “Were it up to me, I would live here forever.”
“But we must be born,” said the other. “it happened to all the others.” Indeed, there was evidence inside the womb that their mother had carried life before theirs. “And I believe there is life after birth, don’t you?”
“How can there be life after birth?” cried the other. “Do we not shed our life cord when we are born? And have you ever talked to anyone that has been born? Has anyone ever reentered the womb after birth to describe what birth is like? NO!” As he spoke, he fell into despair, and in his despair he moaned, “If the purpose of conception and our growth inside the womb is to end in birth, then truly our life is senseless.” He clutched his precious life cord to his breast and said, “And if this is so, then life is absurd, and there really can be no mother.”
“But there is a mother,” protested the other. “We else gave us nourishment? Who else created this wonderful world for us?”
“We get our nourishment from this cord – and our world has always been here!” said the one. “Anyway, if there is a mother – where is she? Have you seen her? Does she ever talk to you? NO! We invented the mother when we were young because it satisfied a need in us. It made us feel secure and happy.”
Thus, while the one raved and despaired, the other resigned himself to birth and placed his trust in the hands of his mother. Hours turned into days and days into weeks. And soon it was time. They both knew their birth was at hand, and they both feared what they did not know.
They cried that day as they were born into the light. They coughed out the fluid and gasped the dry air. And when they were sure they had been born, they opened their eyes – seeing life after birth for the very first time. What they saw was the beautiful eyes of their mother, as she cradled them lovingly in her arms. They were home.
As the Apostle Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 2:9, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.”
That’s God’s message to us at Christmas time, isn’t it? That God sent His only Son into his world, that whoever believes in Him shall never perish but have life everlasting.

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