**No post tomorrow. We’ll get back to our regular schedule on Thursday. Happy New Year!
“But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
How busy are you? Okay, how busy are you, really? If your family or simply your life is at all like mine, you have a tendency to schedule yourself to the point that you simply run from thing to thing to thing and never stop to breathe, much less think about any of them. While that’s an easy pattern to fall into, it isn’t one that will lead to flourishing in the long term. As we sit here in the limbo that is the days between Christmas and the New Year, let’s see if we can’t take a page out of Mary’s playbook and take it all in for a minute.
This week we are taking a look at the Christmas story through the eyes of yet one more person who got to witness it firsthand. When Jesus was born, the news was shouted from the highest heights, but it was shouted to the least likely people to receive the message. Out of this, God revealed something important to us. Keep reading to find out what that is and what it means for our lives today.
A Savior for Nobodies
Another cold night. Just like the last one. And the one before that. And the one before that. I can’t even remember the last time I was warm. I mean, the sun is nice during the day, but man do the nights get cold at this time of year. I know what you’re thinking: Who would be outside at night when the temperature is like this? Me, that’s who! Me, the guy who does the work nobody else wants to do. Me, the guy who always gets overlooked. Me, the guy nobody ever seems to want around. I’ve got to tell you, the lot of a shepherd is rough.
What exactly does it mean that something is impossible? At a strictly practical level, it means that whatever it is cannot happen. There is no chance of it taking place. The way we generally use the word, though, it means simply that we consider whatever it is to be highly unlikely. What Gabriel said to Mary here, though, seems to demand a bit of explanation. Nothing will be impossible? Really?
This week we took a look at the story of the announcement of Jesus’ birth through the eyes of someone who experienced it first hand. Just what can we learn from Mary’s reaction to the news of God’s plans for her? Keep reading to find out.
In a season when busyness seems to
be the name of the game, sometimes it’s hard to remember just what exactly it
is we are supposed to be celebrating at this time of year. Many of us know the story of Christmas well
enough, but when we’re running to and fro trying to get everything done on
time, we don’t stop to give it much thought.
As we continue in this season of Advent, of waiting and preparing for
the coming of Christ, we want to help you remember just what exactly all the
hype is all about. We’d like to help you
see the Christmas story through the eyes of some of the folks who experienced
it firsthand. This morning we’re going
to hear from someone who had a bit…higher…perspective on the whole affair than
most of its participants had. So, sit
back, relax, and enjoy our guest, but make sure you listen closely all the way
to the end—he’s got something to share you won’t want to miss.
This week we kicked off a brand-new teaching series called, Hard to Love. Do you have anyone in your life who is hard for you to love? If you do, this is a series you will not want to miss a single part of. Together we’ll talk about why and how we can better approximate God’s own love for everyone in our lives, not just the people we like. We’ll see why doing this is so powerful. And, we’ll be reminded that in doing it we’re only ever giving what we have ourselves received. Keep checking back here each of the next few Mondays to catch the next part of this critical conversation.
Hard to Love
Do you remember
some of the phrases your dad said a lot when you were growing up? Every dad has these. It’s part of the secret dad creed (but if you
tell anyone I’m afraid the consequences will be quite grave so just keep this
between us). One of the things I
remember my dad saying a lot to me was, “If you mess with the bull, you’ll get
the horns.” The point, of course, is
that if you pick a fight with something or someone bigger and stronger than you
there’s a good chance you’ll lose. I
learned this the hard way on a few occasions.
We had a friend of the family named Jerry who we saw every now and then
who was always fun to mess with, but he wasn’t much one to go easy on you just
because you were a kid. One Christmas
the family was all gathered at his house and I was being a bit bolder than
wisdom would have suggested was prudent and quickly found myself locked in a
closet, beating on the door, and screaming to be let out. In messing with the bull that night I
definitely got the horns.