Christmas is a vivid reminder to the world that Jesus did in fact come.
Jesus, having the ability to meet our deepest need and hearing the command of God, came down to earth and took on human form. He became flesh and “moved into the neighborhood”.
Having heard the call of God and having acted in obedience Jesus went on to secure for the world the opportunity to relationship with God the Father.
This Christmas as you exchange gifts, spend time with family and reflect on another year gone by may you also consider the profound truth that Jesus came.
And as you reflect may you come to see that this action of Christ’s coming is not just something to be admired by His followers but something to be emulated. We, who are children of God, are called to enter into this same world that Jesus entered in order to bring the same hope Jesus himself brought. This hope is the truth that “the world might be saved through Jesus”.
My prayer for all you this Christmas is that you would rediscover Jesus as the one who came and the one who sends. That this Christmas you would not only find Jesus but take Jesus to a world the Father still desperately loves.
#1: It’s A Wonderful Life
Me and Jimmie always seem to spend time together wrapping Christmas presents on Christmas eve. This has to be my favorite.
#2: National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
It never fails to make me laugh and come on…who wouldn’t want to be a part of the jelly of the month club!
#3: A Christmas Story
It helps that I grew up in Cleveland where the film takes place. “You’ll shoot your eye out!”
#4: Christmas With the Cranks
Newer…but hilarious! An all star cast with a surprisingly powerful message of what Christmas is all about at the end.
#5: Home Alone
Another classic Christmas movie. Who can’t love this one. “Merry Christmas ya filthy animal….and a happy new year”
What are your top 5 Christmas movies?
Click the Pic and join with me and others from Princeton Alliance Church for 25 days of service this Christmas. Let us know how you service goes here at martyrpriest.com. Follow me on twitter to hear about my experiences.
Do you remember your school grade days where whenever the class was heading out you had to march in a single file line? I do and it always seemed like there was a mad rush to be the first kid in line. SO much so that somewhere along the way our teachers got wise and had weekly designated line leaders to avoid the mass confusion and chaos that ensued for the race to the front. Well, I’m grown up now but it still seems to me like everywhere I look there is the chaos and confusion of people racing to be first in line. One can really observe this at Christmas. Everyone wants to find the best deal, give the best gift, throw the best party, and wear the cutest Christmas outfit…in other words be at the front of the line. But while we all jostle and jockey to get out in front the Christmas story trips us up with a bit of ir0ny. As we read the Christmas story we come to find God was pleased to go to the back of the line.
God showed up in a big way on a hillside in front of some shepherds (Luke 2:8-14). Now you need to understand something about these guys….socially speaking they were at the back of the line. A Shepherd during the time of Jesus was a lower class citizen on the same par as a child or slave. They did not have much clout. Furthermore, these particular shepherds were said to have been “staying out in the fields”. They were homeless…..or “traveling businessmen” at best. They did not work their shift and head home, they were constantly in the field with their flocks. But something else is going on here as well. Since these guys worked so much “out in the field” they were kept away from town and in town is where the temple was. This may not seem too important to us but for the Jews the temple was a vital link to God. It is where they were made “spiritually clean” and you had to be clean to approach God. Yet these shepherds, because of work, had to stay spiritually unclean for long periods of time. I think its safe to say these shepherds are at the back of the line, yet these are the guys that God dispatches his angels to visit. This reveals an important truth: “God loves reserving the best for the last”.
This Christmas, let’s change our perspective.
Stop resenting the fact that you are at the back of the line. Maybe you never get invited to the “in-crowd” Christmas party and what’s worse is you know you never will, let it go and understand God has a better gift for you than just attending a party. Perhaps you are struggling to make everything work, you’re not h0mless but you sure are close. Stop worrying and understand God can be found at the back of the line. Maybe you’re like the shepherds and you would admit that its been a long time since you were spiritually clean. The Christmas story tells us that rather than clawing our way to the front in order to meet God we can rest assured that He visits the back of the line, and often before He makes His way to the front!
Maybe we need to re-learn the Christmas story, a story that shows us how peace can truly be found. Peace is not a prize to be fought for and won by making it to the front of the line. Peace is a gift offered to everyone, even those of us who consistently find ourselves at the back of the line….and that really is GOOD NEWS!
What is your favorite part of the Christmas story?
How are you helping others who are at “the back of the line” this Christmas?
I must admit, as much as I love music, there are few songs that make me really stop and ponder what the artist is actually saying. Well, last week, right before Christmas I was driving from Cleveland Ohio back to Wisconsin. As I was driving down the highway I put Casting Crowns new Christmas C.D. into the player. I came across the song: While you Where Sleeping. About halfway through the song I was hit over the head with a 2×4 so to speak. Casting Crowns had some pretty strong words to say. You have to listen to it. Agree or disagree, you won’t miss the line I’m talking about. So after you listen, post your thoughts. Is he right? Is he wrong? What lines stood out to you?
What do you think?