Matt Dodd

Matt Dodd

missionary sent out by Grace Bible Church

Merry Christmas From Papua New Guinea

This Christmas, we put up a tree, strung up some lights, and even had a few Christmas presents, but there was something different.

Okay, lots of things were different. We did our best to make it “feel” like Christmas. But when it comes down to it, we are in a totally different place. Christmas here is celebrated differently. It’s hot outside. Everyone is speaking a different language. Our family and friends are on the other side of the world. Christmas lights aren’t quite red, green and blue, but kind of off blue, and turquoise and fuchsia. It’s just…different.

It’s at a time like this, however, that we stop and remember that Christmas isn’t about those things. There is one verse that has captured Christmas well for me this year:

John 1:14 – “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Christmas isn’t about decorated houses (though we miss them), Christmas music (which we’ve actually been able to have) or about eggnog (pretty sure no one has ever even heard of eggnog here). It is about the Word becoming flesh, and dwelling among mankind. Two thousand years ago, God stepped down into this sinful fallen world. God the Son became a man and walked among men. He died and bore the wrath of God upon Himself for those who would believe in Him. Jesus then rose from the dead, and conquered death and sin and Satan.

This is why we celebrate Christmas, because of the incarnation. So really, this is what Christmas is all about. Being here in Papua New Guinea is what Christmas is all about. To tell others about this great King and Savior who put on flesh, so that He might die to “save His people from their sins” (Matt 1:21) — to save me from my sins.

So though we may be far from family and it may not “feel” like Christmas, we are and will be forever praising Jesus for saving us from our sins! Merry Christmas everyone!

Christmas cards from friends back home

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