Wednesday, December 13, 2006
If we take the time to ponder the events of one night more than 2,000 years ago, we often find elements of the extraordinary, the inexplicable, and the most astonishing surrounding the announcement of a baby’s birth.
It would seem the supernatural world came down and danced with us mere mortals.
The true wonder is that the same miraculous things happen today. No, not angelic beings or spiritual anomalies that sometimes capture our attention.
Our Savior’s birth was just the beginning of the eternal love story between the Creator and His creations.
Oh that we would slow down long enough this Christmas season to truly comprehend the true gifts Jesus wants each of us to receive … to supernaturally love, forgive, sacrifice, and believe so that we may grow in our faith. And then, to look to the heavens in wonder and awe of the most perfect love story ever created.
Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them … “I bring you good news of great joy for everyone!” Luke 2:9-10, NLT
Shepherds and wise men
One group followed a star and the other followed the angelic announcement. Yet, both were being obedient to the Heavenly realms.
Shepherds were on the bottom rung of Jewish society. They were both physically and ritually dirty, which kept them isolated – outcasts. They certainly had no gifts for this new born king. The wise men, on the other hand, were depicted as educated, respected and wealthy, bringing lavish gifts.
The disparity between a wise man and a shepherd is more than just life style or ethnicity. The differences actually show the vast expanse of God’s invitation – it truly is for all.
Regardless of their diversity, they followed the call – from a far off place and from around the corner.
The truth is the most amazing journeys all begin with just one step. A more wondrous truth is that when we seek Him, God is faithful in leading us to find Him.
Most are familiar with the Nativity story. Jesus was born in a stable among farm animals because there was no warm room for Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem that night.
The reality is that many find Jesus but some don’t have room in their hectic schedules to accept the gifts He wants to give us. A deeper truth may be that we have no room in our hearts.
In order to experience a personal relationship with God, we not only need to invite Him into our lives, but we also need to make room in our hearts.
Keeping Christmas in our hearts all year long is as unadorned as a manger filled with hay, as natural as a mother giving birth, and as down-to-earth as shepherds keeping watch over their flocks. It’s unpretentious and clear-cut. These are the ordinary things God used on one extraordinary night to bring forth the Hope of the world.
Our desire shouldn’t be to put Christ back into Christmas, but instead put Him back into our hearts. Imagine the remarkable lives we would live if we remembered.
And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” Luke 2:13-14
Christmas Blessings, Francine
Another good site is Crossmap, at http://crossmap.com and not just because my inspirational messages can now be found there. This organization, which has been running since 2000, serves the Christian community as a web portal. There are great columns by talented nationally known writers and pastors, a wide variety of other Christian sites, news, and commentaries.
As always, I welcome your comments or you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org