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What Is The Sign Of The Season? (1 of 3)
Series: Christmas Questions
OPEN: A Salvation Army woman was informed by a policeman that a local ordinance would prevent her from ringing her bells to invite contributions. She was contrite and apologetic that she had "broken" the law. But the next day she was back in front of the store… doing a brisker business than ever… as she waved one sign and then another in the air.
One sign said "ding" and the other said "dong."
APPLY: Throughout this month, we'll be seeing houses all lit up with Christmas lights and decorated with reindeer on the roofs and those blowup Santa Clauses and Snowmen balloons in their yards. Stores will be filled with tinsel, Christmas trees, and holiday music. And of course, you'll see the Salvation Army people out there ringing their bells and asking for donations for the poor.
When you see these things taking place, you know that Christmas isn't too far away. These are all signs of the season. The woman in our story also was a sign of the season... and she even used literal "signs" to get her message across.
Scripture says that God ALSO used a literal "sign" to get His message across. The angel said to the shepherds:
"And this will be a SIGN to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." Luke 2:12 NKJV
As I thought on that verse (and the use of the word "sign" in it) a couple of things occurred to me:
1st - this was not the kind of "sign" I would have used. I'd have used something far more dramatic. I mean, here are these shepherds surrounded by angelic beings that fill the sky and they're so frightened that they're literally frozen in their tracks. One commentator suggested that they may have even fallen to the ground and groveled at the feet of these heavenly beings.
Comparatively, the presence of a baby in a manger seems almost anti-climatic to me.
But the 2nd thing that I noticed in this passage was that this sub ...
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