Friday, December 09, 2011

Jesus is . . .

... my Savior and Lord.
...the way, the truth, the life.
...the light of the world.
...the only way to the Father.
...the door, gate, bread of life, true vine.
...Son of God, Son of man.
...created everything alongside God.
...born of a virgin, crucified, died, buried, rose on third say, ascended to Heaven, sits at God's right hand, intercedes for me/us.
...canceled my certificate of debt, nailed it to the cross.
...forgives all my sin and sins, past, present, future.
...was/is sinless.
...exchanged His righteous robes for my unrighteous rags. a propitiation for sin. the Prince of Peace. the sacrificial passover lamb. my High Priest.
...was tempted like me but did not sin. all and is in all. the exact representation of God. God in the flesh.
...learned obedience through the things he suffered.
...existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation.
...holds all thing (in creation) together. the head of the church, His body. the beginning. first in everything.
...reconciled all things to Himself. the Good News.
...fulfills the Law.
...proved He was the Son of God when He rose from the dead and ascended to Heaven never more to die.

Celebrate Jesus this Christmas for who He is!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Christmas Through the Eyes of a Bystander

So many strange occurrences in Bethlehem lately. First Herod decides to take a census but makes it difficult for everyone because He requires them to return to the city of their ancestors . Nothing like keeping his thumb of control on all of us "peasants." So there have been throngs of people flooding our sleepy little town. So many that the 'no vacancies' signs have been put in all the inn windows. Visitors had to scrounge around to find a place to lay their heads. Some even wound up sleeping in the stables with the livestock! At least they were out of the frosty dew that settled on those less fortunate.

A few nights ago I saw this spectacularly huge star in the sky. Some say it was a comet. It blazed across the dark night sky lighting up the heavens like no one has ever seen before. Then it seemed to linger on one particular place for several days, when as suddenly as it appeared, it was gone. The more superstitious of the townfolk said it was a sign from God, but what could a huge star mean?

About the same time, some shepherds from the outskirts of town rushed in with great excitement, sharing with everyone what they had experienced. Personally I think they were imbibing in too much wine, but they swear they heard the most glorious sound in the sky about same time as that star appeared. They saw ghostly images, hundreds of them. They "said" they were angels, supposedly telling them to visit a baby in a feeding trough. Now tell me, who in the world is crazy enough to believe you will find a baby in a stable, no less in an animal's feeding trough! But I guess those heavenly hosts were convincing enough because those shepherds left their flock (unheard of) and ran into town. Lo, and behold, after searching several stables they noticed that brilliant star shining down on a stable at the far end of town and when they arrived, there was a brand spanking new babe wrapped in some cloths and he was actually lying in a manger! The funny thing was that according to the angels,  this wasn't just any baby, but  this baby boy was the Messiah, the One Israel has been waiting for - the Savior - which I guess means the one who would save us from the evil rulership of King Herod and Rome. He's a mighty special baby if that is who he really is. But how strange that this would-be king was born in such a strange way and in such a strange place.

I'll be keeping my eye on this one - see how he grows up and what happens with him.  We sure could use a Savior right about now. But I'm guessin' I'll be having to wait a few years before we see any saving going on, since he's just a baby. I'm not sure what I believe, but those shepherds sure were convinced. Those angels made believers out of them for sure. I've never seen such a thing, but as they went back to their flocks, they were singing and even dancing a jig, big smiles on their faces as if something miraculous just took place. They were even praising the name of God, quite the contrary to what usually comes out of their mouths about God. Like I said, I guess I'll just have to wait and see what's gonna happen.

Hmm, I think there is a word for that - waiting to see what's to come - is it Advent?

Thursday, December 01, 2011

You are blessed!

Luke 1:45
 You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what He said.

I have never seen that before, that Mary was blessed because she believed that God would do what He said He would do - the impossible! I've always thought Mary was blessed because she was the mother of Jesus and how that was unique only to her. Because of that she was elevated to a place I couldn't relate to. But now I see that we can all be as blessed as Mary if we will just believe God when He tells us He will do the impossible in our lives too!

But wait! We CAN be like Mary, a dwelling place for the Lord Jesus, not in our wombs but in our hearts. We need to say yes as Mary did to allow the Holy Spirit to come inside us and "impregnate" us with Jesus in our hearts as we first see our need for a Savior and invite Jesus into our hearts and as we daily surrender our will to the will of God. Thy Kingdom come! My Kingdom go! on THIS earth as it is in Heaven.

Ponder this as you journey s-l-o-w-l-y through this sacred Advent season.