“For to us a child is born,
          to us a son is given,
          and the government will be on his shoulders.
     And he will be called
          Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
          Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
                         Isaiah 9: 6

     Although Jesus told us we cannot know the exact time of His second coming, He also said that we should watch for signs of when that time is drawing near.  I have no special insight, but I would like to pose a question.
     Suppose you were to learn that He will come back on the first of January, this January, and that this will be the last Christmas you will ever celebrate.  My question for you is, what will be the first thoughts to come from your heart?  Would your heart sing, “Thank you Lord?”  Or would it be something more like…

     “That’s great but, the timing is awful, I’m planning for my wedding in the spring!”  Or maybe, “I’ve worked hard all my life to build a nest egg for retirement, and now that it’s here, was it all for nothing?”

     “He said to another man, ‘Follow me.’
But the man replied, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’
     Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’
     Still another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.’
     Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.'”
                         Luke 9: 59-62

     “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”
                         Matthew 10: 37

     It is good to celebrate the birth of Christ, but we also need to remember that two millennia have passed since Jesus was a child.  We need to see Him as He is.  He is no longer the babe in the manger, the lamb who stepped into this world as our savior.  That work is finished.
     He is Jesus Christ, the Lion of Judah, fully man and fully God, the Lord of lords and King of kings.  We should set our hope on Him and not the things of this world, so that we will be glad when He comes in His glory, as He surely will.

     “I am coming soon.”
                         Revelation 3: 11

                                                            WE WISH YOU A JOYFUL
                                             CHRIST CENTERED (LAST?) CHRISTMAS
                                                       AND A BLESSED NEW YEAR

                    Bob Rani                                                                                              Mike & Sheri Rani


  1. Arnold Huuki says:

    Good article, really enjoyed it. By the way I attended the last VA-106 reunion in Pensacola in October. Had a great time getting visiting with old shipmates. You should plan on attending the next in October, be in Nashville, TN. Was out of town for the Holidays. Hope you had wonderful time celebrating Jesus’s Birthday.

  2. John E Carpenter Capt. USN(ret) says:

    Hi Bob & Family Thanks so much for this Presentation!! I still remember you as you were then when you and I were in the Squadron together. Those were some of the “Good Ole Days”, were they not? But isn’t it great that we don’t have to relive them once again?? I am sure that GOD will continue to bless you and your family as we move into the new year. Best regards, Teddy and John C.

  3. Walt says:

    Well Done Bob.

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