December 19, 2010

Bethlehem


Many years ago, a magazine ranked Bethlehem, Pennsylvania last among 300 places to live in the United States.

If Bethlehem, Pennsylvania ranked 300th, the sleepy little town we sing about at Christmas would have ranked even lower, for it had little to recommend it as the perfect birthplace of the Savior.


But God seems to have different standers for perfection than we have, and there is something about the story of Christmas that goes beyond perfection and logic. A virgin bears God’s son in a stable? It’s beyond our comprehension.

Years ago, Harry Reasoner of TVs "Sixty Minutes" said the following:
"If God wanted to be intimately part of man, he moved correctly, for the experience of birth and family-hood is our most intimate experience. It's a story of great innocence of God the baby. God in the person of man."
Perhaps your Christmas won't be perfect this year. Maybe . . . it will be far better than that. Maybe you will see right to the heart of this sacred event . . . to the God who seeks not perfection . . . but love.

December 13, 2010

Mary's Love


A Sunday School teacher asked her children to write a letter to God during the week ahead. The following Sunday, one child read this message “Dear God, we had a good time in church last Sunday. I wish you could have been there.”


With all the many preparations for Christmas, sometimes we must be reminded of God’s presence in the celebration.


Mary needed no reminder that God was at work in her life. When she visited her cousin, Elizabeth, she declared herself to be the most fortunate woman on earth!


If Mary were with us today, she most certainly would remind us that we do not fall into God’s plan in quite the same way that she did. Yet each of us is humbled to remember that the Christmas story is about God’s love.


As we tend to our Christmas chores let us keep in our hearts a place for Mary’s story, the oldest and most intimate story of all. It is the story of a mother’s love for her child, and in a lesser but very significant way, it is a demonstration of God’s love for each one of us.

December 5, 2010

Alone at Your Party


Imagine an elaborate wedding reception in a very exclusive country club. Exotic foods from all over the world are served on fine Wedgwood china, waiters in crisp white uniforms pour champagne and rare tropical flowers are everywhere. Everyone present is in high spirits, dancing, laughing and having a great time.


There’s only problem. No one is paying any attention to the young lady who just happens to be the bride. Can you imagine such a circumstance . . . alone and unnoticed at your own wedding.


That’s how Jesus must feel as increasingly, year after year, little by little He is squeezed into a corner. So much so that the celebration of his birth seems to have little to do with Him.


It is our loss if we treat Christ like a neglected bride at her own wedding party for without Him the meaning of Christmas is lost and we are diminished because of it.


How will you celebrate the birth of our Savior this year?