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Jesus: What's in a name?

December 21, 2016
By Pastor ROGER LEMKE , Pine Island Eagle

Many years ago, Erma Bom-beck wrote a funny but penetrating piece about Christmas. I'll try to quote her as best as I can.

Most of us have never seen anyone smile in the Post Office. The Post Office is like a clinic for lower back pain. Well, I was in line yesterday, when the door opened and in walked a lady with a big smile on her face weighted down with boxes for mailing. She held the door open for her three little girls who filed in, each carrying a package.

She bounded over to a man standing over a counter pasting stamps and asked:

"Are you a carrier?"

"Of what?" he snapped.

Another in line growled: "To the back of the line, lady!"

Her eyes fairly danced with excitement as she announced to no one in particular: "It certainly is a nice day, and just think, girls, Christmas is only one week away."

"Will granddad get his presents?" asked one child.

"Of course, he will," said the mother." On Christmas Eve, he'll be sitting around the fire, the doorbell will ring and a postman with a big smile, will say: "Merry Christmas from your family in Arizona."

Then the mother said: "Look girls, doesn't the Post Office look like Santa is on his way?"

Every eye in the Post Office turned to stare at this cross between Mary Poppins and Tiny Tim. With the exception of Santa pointing his finger from a poster and warning: "Mail early" the place had the spirit of a Recovery Room.

Finally, she got to the head of the line.

"When will dad get these packages?" she asked.

The clerk shrugged: "Depends. Maybe by New Year's or we could get 'em there in one day."

"One day would be fine!" she exclaimed.

"It'll cost you," he said, scribbling down some figures: "45.83."

The woman hesitated, then picked out one box and said: "This one must get there by Christmas Day. It's my father's birthday."

The clerk shook his head and said: "Boy, that guy's a loser. Imagine having a birthday on Christmas. One present fits all. Thank God I don't know of anyone born on Christmas Day."

The man behind the lady said: "Thank God, I do!"

Do you? Do you know anyone do you know the one who was born on Christmas day?

An angel appeared to Joseph and said: "Do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins" (Matt. 1:20-23).

What's in a name? More truth than we can comprehend but a truth we need to experience on Christmas and each day after, for all eternity: "Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us! And He will save his people from their sins!"

Roger Lemke is pastor of Fishers of Men Lutheran Church. The church is at 10360 Stringfellow Road. Call 239-283-1170 for service times and/or additional information.



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