by Ron Clarkson

Carpe Diem
Ron Clarkson
December 4, 1994

Illus.: Christmas is probably my favorite time of year. It is a time that is fun an exciting. its a time when people get their eyes off themselves and on to others. It's a time when people give to others. It's a time of surprises! The kids surprised by their gifts, wives surprised that their husbands actually shopped before December 24, all kinds of /,> $ l. surprises. i love to be surprised at Christmas but you know, my it pains my wife to not tell me what she got me for Christmas. She says, "oh, honey, you want to know, don't you? And I say, 'No! Don't you dare tell me." "Oh, come on, please?" How many of you here this morning have a hard time keeping a secret? (You need help.).

When we read the Christmas story, it is so simple, yet it is full of surprises. The "Original" PLO " is the title of this series. There was a group of individuals who were part of a mission to liberate Palestine close to 2,000 years ago. Palestine was under the crush of the Roman Boot. Caesar Augustus was in power and enslaving the people in taxes. Rome was making history and the world didn't even notice the formation of this P.L.O. team. And what a surprise this PLO Team was.

If we were to look at the players on this PLO team, we would be surprised to see that a young, teen-age, peasant girl named Mary would be the birth mother of the great liberator. It's a surprise that the baby - supposed to be king - would be born in an animal shelter. It's a surprise when you look at the process of the timing of the birth. Everything about the birth of Jesus is a surprise including the fact that the first public announcement of birth of Jesus was made to the Shepherds.

You have to ask yourself, "Why the Shepherds?" Why would God choose the shepherds to announce this life changing, history altering, eternity impacting event? Why the shepherds? They were an unlikely group of people to do anything "noble" or "important" like announcing the birt ...

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