My wife is a puzzle master. She has the ability to see in her mind how all these hundreds of pieces fit together. For her, it is relaxing. For me it is frustrating. So, after the first of the year the table will come out and 500 to 1,000 pieces of frustration will be spread out. Out of this disorganized array of individual pieces. A beautiful picture will gradually emerge.

But one year there was a catastrophe. As she worked toward the center of the puzzle, there was one piece she could not find. She kept at the process, thinking this piece would show up. But it didn’t. There it was, the puzzle was all done, but there was one piece that made it incomplete. I helped her look for the missing piece. Under furniture, in the sofa cushions, and under her desk, but to no avail. She finally gave up, thinking the maker of the puzzle had left one piece out. So the puzzle lay there on the table for weeks with its unfinished gaze.

Then, one day much later, she was housecleaning and noticed something on a high window ledge. She reached to knock it down, and what did she find? The final piece of the puzzle. Who was to blame for this act of deceitfulness? The first suspect was me, that I had hidden the piece. I finally proved my innocence. There was only one other suspect; the cat, Molly. In her playfulness, she thought it would be interesting to play her part in this game. It was almost like one of Agatha Christies movies. instead of “Death on the Nile” it was “The missing puzzle piece”.

Have you ever lost something that you value, but cannot find it? You search your mind for evidence of where it might be, but it is “lost in plain sight”. If it is a material object, chances are it can be replaced. However if it is a “truth” or a “formula” that has extreme value, but it becomes lost among all the other clutter that enters our mind, it could affect our eternal future. There is an unmeasurable distance between a lost puzzle piece and a lost future, lost because I lost the very Truth of life itself. A lost puzzle piece merely leaves a hole in the middle of the puzzle, it is incomplete, but lost Truth can leave a hole in your heart that causes you to miss the very essence of life itself. This happens so quickly in this fast-paced life we live.  Everything around me is changing so why not change what I believe as Truth and build my life around something more contemporary? Truth becomes lost because it becomes neglected. It fades, like a disappearing sunset.
The entire nation of Israel went through this process of losing Truth. Because they lost the Truth they lost their status as a nation. Foreign invaders came and they were carried to a foreign land. I’m not sure that Truth was lost or forsaken for the nation. They were held in captivity for 70 years.  70 years is a long time to hang on to something that your ancestors believed but now has been lost.

Then, the King of Persia gave this nation of God permission to return to their homeland, the land promised to them by God Himself. For years they were under Persian rule, and then the ironclad fist of Rome took possession of this nation. The Truth of Jehovah and the promise of Messiah was now far from their mind, as they lived under the conditions of an Empire ruled by iron and not by God.

Where was Truth?

Into this moral and political darkness, God sends an angel. The angel is dispatched to a humble village in northwestern Palestine. The angel appears suddenly in the home of a very young woman, who is in the midst of her daily chores and is interrupted by a visitor:

“And coming in, he said, ‘hail favored one! The Lord is with
         You’. But she was greatly troubled at this statement, and kept
         pondering what kind of a salutation this might be. And the angel
         said to her, ‘do not be afraid Mary; for you have found favor with
         God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a
         Son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will
         Be called the Son of he Most High; and the Lord will give Him
         The throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house
         Of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end’,
         And Mary said to the angel ‘how can this be since I am a virgin’?
         And the angel answered and said to her, ‘the Holy Spirit will come upon
         you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, for that
         the reason the holy offspring shall be called The Son of God…”.

The truth that the angel spoke to Mary was not a new truth. It had been revealed to Prophets six hundred years earlier. Listen to Isaiah;

“Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm
         Of the Lord been revealed? For He grew up before Him as
         A tender shoot, and like a root out of the parched ground. He\
         He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon
         Him nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He
         Was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and
         acquainted with grief  and like one from whom men hide their
         face. He was despised and we did not esteem Him”. Isaiah 53

But then, Persia came, and Rome came, and the truth was lost. Israel had problems that were more severe. The truth was lost or was it forsaken?

Then came the angel to an unknown girl. Then came the Son of God, [Truth] born by a virgin. Then came the cross, then came salvation for all the world.

Have you lost this Truth this holiday season? It is a truth, that if lost, will affect your eternal destiny.

To lose this truth is much more significant than losing a piece of a puzzle.

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