What Are You Getting Me for Christmas

Sunday, December 4, 1994
| Luke 3:1-6

Christmas is a time of gift giving. What are the real gifts God gives through the Christmas story?

It would take some doing to assemble a more deplorable, disreputable rogue's gallery than the one listed today in Luke's gospel. Tiberius, Pilate and Herod were notorious for their cruelties, their treacheries and their callous disregard for others. Tiberius was despised and mistrusted by his own political cronies and finally resorted to trumped-up treason trials to keep his opponents in order. Pilate was renowned for playing both ends against the middle _ cheating his Roman bosses and abusing his Judean subjects. Herod was insanely paranoid and ended up having three of his own sons and one of his wives executed because he suspected them of plotting against him.

The religious leaders weren't much better. Annas, the high priest, was hardly more than a lackey of the Roman authorities, having sold out any moral persuasiveness his position might have still held. He did better at getting his family appointed to the temple priesthood by the Roman bosses _ five sons and his son-in-law...

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