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Merry Christmas!

Hello and Merry Christmas to you! Jimmy, Lola, Malcolm, and I hope everyone has a wonderful day today filled with joy and love.

christmas-card

I thought it would be in the Christmas spirit to share the story of the birth of Jesus, the greatest gift ever given. A gift for everyone.

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.”

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Luke 1:26-38

The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Luke 2:1-21

Stepping on toes…

I’ve meant to write this blog post for a long time, but I always put it off because I didn’t want to cause any controversy. I realized that I’m allowed to say whatever I want on my blog, so here we go…

On Friday, a few people at the gym asked me if I was going to be running the Pittsburgh Marathon on Sunday, and I told them what I tell everyone every year: no. I don’t usually elaborate any more than that, but one person pressed further and asked me why.

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I told him that I wasn’t running the Pittsburgh Marathon because I refuse to miss church. I specifically refuse to miss partaking in the Lord’s Supper, or as some call it: Communion.

I’m a non-denominational Christian, so to me, the Lord’s Supper is something that Christians do every Sunday in remembrance of Jesus Christ. We eat bread and drink grape juice to symbolize Christ’s body and blood that He sacrificed for us in his death.

Recieving Communion #2

This scripture shows that Jesus asked his disciples to remember Him:
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 1 Corinthians 11:23-24

This scripture shows that Christians are to partake in the Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week:
On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.

communion

Partaking in the Lord’s Supper is a huge part of why Christians attend church each Sunday morning.

I truly try to keep Christ at the very center of my life. I want Him to be #1 in my life. Always. To me, if Christ comes first, that means that I remember Him every Sunday morning by partaking in the Lord’s Supper.

That means that I don’t run races on Sunday mornings. I don’t sleep in on Sunday mornings. I don’t go to baseball games on Sunday mornings. I don’t miss church and partaking in the Lord’s Supper unless I absolutely have to (like if I was sick).

I believe that Jesus died on the cross to save me from my sins. He asked that I remember Him on the first day of the week through Communion. Why would I miss partaking in Communion to run a race?

I’m running in a much more important race throughout my life:
Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. Hebrews 12:1

The-Race-of-Faith

This belief may seem strict, but I’m holding to it firmly.

Is the Pittsburgh Marathon “wrong?” No! I’d love to run it, but I won’t run races on Sunday mornings. There are plenty of races on Saturdays that I can run without missing the Lord’s Supper.

I’m not perfect. I sin every day. I’m not trying to judge anyone who runs races on a Sunday or isn’t a Christian. I don’t believe I’m better than anyone and didn’t write this post to make anyone feel bad or condemn people who ran the Pittsburgh Marathon.

I just felt like I needed to get that off of my chest and explain why I personally don’t run Sunday morning races.

Feel free to leave a comment or contact me by email (aks5313@psu.edu) if you have any questions!