Merry Christmas! On this day, we are reminded that a child was born. A Son was given. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

Growing up, I remember occasionally watching The Jack LaLanne Show. Long before Cross Fit and Richard Simmons, there was Jack LaLanne. He was the godfather of fitness. He opened the nation’s first health club in 1934. He invented the first pulley-type exercise machines. He even invented the jumping jack. On his 70th birthday, LaLanne swam 1.5 miles along the California coast from the Queen’s Way Bridge to Long Beach Harbor. And he did it while wearing handcuffs and shackles on his arms and legs while towing 70 row boats holding 70 people. This is just one of the many fitness feats he performed throughout his life.

Jack LaLanne was a fitness icon. So much so, that in his early 90’s, he said , “I can’t afford to die. It would ruin my image.” Well, guess what? Jack LaLanne did die in 2011 at the age of 96. Now, I’m definitely into exercise and nutrition, but I’m very aware that no fitness program can overcome death.

However, on this day a little over 2,000 years ago amidst the humblest of circumstances, a child was born. A Son was given. Jesus has uniquely overcome sin and defeated death. There has never been anyone before or since like him. He is unique. The uncreated creator became created to redeem his creation. Rejoice in the Lord always! Amen. Merry Christmas!

Brad Gauen

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