Crăciun fericit! (Merry Christmas!) We are looking forward to celebrating our first Christmas here in Romania, and also to the fast approaching one year anniversary of having arrived here in the country on January 18th, 2023! It has been amazing to watch God’s generosity since we have arrived. God has given us incredible opportunities to begin learning Romanian, build relationships, share the Gospel, start discipling a young man called to ministry, and raise three active and healthy toddlers. He has also been working in our lives and changing us to be more like Christ through the triumphs and trials of transition.
The foundation of all of those blessings, and so many more, is another gift. “When the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” (Gal. 4:4-5) How easy it is for me to rush by the reminders of redemption in the Bible! Because I am already trusting in the finished work of Christ it is easy to forget the wonderful and wonder-filled reality of reconciliation. All that I am, have, and am able to do is because there is Emmanuel, God with us! The Son came meekly, lived sinlessly, died sacrificially, rose triumphantly, and was exalted gloriously!
It struck me afresh recently the tone of amazement that imbibes I John 3:1a; “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:” We barely know how wretched we are. The little we are aware of is enough to cause us both embarrassment and the urge to put ourselves in the best light whenever and wherever possible. However, we no longer need a shred of our own honor because the greatest honor has been given to us through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: we are both reconciled to God and made sons of God!
Marie and I are looking forward to the upcoming opportunities to share the wonder-filled truth that because the Son became flesh we can now become the sons of God! It looks like we may have an opportunity to share this with a group of unsaved Chinese migrants later this month! Marie talks with them and their kids regularly at the nearby playground, and we look forward to having them and their spouses in our home. Pray for wisdom to know how to even begin to present the wonder of Christmas with them. Also pray for another opportunity we hope to have in celebrating this truth with some young Romanian believers and learning about how they celebrate the incarnation! Our three little ones tend to love company, and now that all three are walking about and getting into everything, I am sure they will add much to the celebration and wonder of the season! (Picture: Two year old Serenity in the middle, and one-year-old twins, William and Penny, are awed by Christmas lights.) Thank you so much for your love, friendship, and prayers! We wish you all a very Merry Christmas!