Off The Grid Radio Discusses The Hope Inherent In Christmas

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The most recent edition of Off The Grid News Radio is Christmas, unpacked and unwrapped with special guests Michael Heiser and Jim Machen.

While Christmas celebrates the birth of the Savior, we also have to remember the cost of Christmas. The first Christmas tree wasn't a bedecked cedar or fir, but the cross on Calvary.

Off The Grid Radio host Bill Heid interviews two special guests on Friday, December 21, in a special Christmas edition of the radio show that focuses on the hope inherent in Christmas even in the midst of tragedy. Dr. Mike Heiser, Academic Editor at Logos Bible Software and founder of MEMRA (An Online Institute for Ancient Languages and Biblical Theology), joins Bill Heid for the first half of the show and Jim Machen, senior pastor at Church of the Open Door in Clinton, Iowa, joins Heid for the second half of the show.
The holidays are associated with family and togetherness. Feelings of sadness and depression can be intensified during the holiday season, says the University of Maryland Medical Center, especially when confronted by memories of deceased loved ones or strained relationships with other family members.
“While Christmas celebrates the birth of the Savior,” Heid says, “we also have to remember the cost of Christmas. The first Christmas tree wasn’t a bedecked cedar or fir, but the cross on Calvary. Jesus’s entrance and exit from this world was one of deprivation and suffering. More than anyone, he understands the sorrow that surrounds many of us during this season.”
Heiser reminds listeners that the beginning of the redemption story isn’t found in the opening chapters of the New Testament, but rather from the very beginning of creation, in the third chapter of Genesis where God promises the future hope of a Savior at some point in human history.
For many people, however, that hope can be amorphous and fleeting. Psychology Today says that hospitals and police forces report higher incidences of depression, suicide, and attempted suicides during the holiday season.
“We live in a fallen world, a broken world,” says Heid, “and we often wonder where God is in the midst of this sorrow.”
Pastor Machen insists that God is right there with us, comforting us, loving us. In fact, he says, Christmas is the gift that keeps on giving. “Christmas is about God coming to us and loving us back to life,” Machen says. It’s like an eternal gift that we keep unwrapping as we deepen our relationship with God.
“All God ever wanted was a family. That’s what this is all about,” Machen concludes. The message of the Christmas season is that no one is ever truly alone. They have access to a spiritual family that will never leave or forsake them.
This episode of Off The Grid News Radio can be found at: http://www.OffTheGridNews.com/2012/12/20/christmas-unpacked-and-unwrapped-with-michael-heiser-and-jim-machen-episode-135/

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Tony Belha
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