Monday, December 28, 2015

The Baby Is Born... Now What?

Christmas has happened! There was lots of food and presents and fun was had by all.

Now what?

For most it will be a return to normalcy. Take down the lights, stop listening to Christmas music, and once the leftovers are gone we will be eating the same food we did before. Ornaments are packed away. The greeting of "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" is no longer used. In a few days there will be no trace the Christmas ever happened aside from a few new toys.

Is that really how it should be?

I'm not saying leave your lights up all year round (although I know a few who do), but spiritually I don't think Christ came and died as a one time shot and then be done with it. I also don't think the point of church is to come be a Christ follower for one hour a week on Sunday and once we're done being holy go back to our normal selves by Monday (or by halftime).

What if spiritually we acted like it was Christmas all the time? Act as if Christ is with us? Live with that type of faith? What if we live like Christmas was real well past the 25th...?

Just a thought.


Monday, December 21, 2015

Everything Was A Choice

For Advent this year I am reading a sermon series by St. Bernard. It's fun to see a story I knwo so well from a different point of view.

One difference he made was the choices made by Christ at Christmas. I had never really thought about it, but God is very intentional. Nothing is done by accident. Every little tiny thing has meaning. Unlike all of us, Christ was able to determine how and when He was born. If this is true that means that He picked every part of His birth on purpose.

Jesus chose to be born during a census (it gets Him to Bethlehem).
Jesus chose to have Mary be pregnant while traveling.
Jesus chose to be born in a stable.
Jesus chose to be born at night.
Jesus chose that only shepherds would see the angels announcement.

You get the idea. Every single part of Christ's birth was done by choice. I wonder if because we don't get any say in how we or our children our born we assume it's the same with God, but it's not. He chose every little detail of His birth.

The bigger question is, what do those choices tell us about Jesus?

Think about it. Merry Christmas.


Monday, December 14, 2015

"Done Unto Me"

I read a very interesting quote last week from the Advent Sermons of St. Bernard. He says this:

"Be it done unto me, not preached to me, not shown to me but breathed into me."

Maybe the reason Jesus doesn't seem real to so many people, maybe even ourselves, is because we've settled for for preaching and showing, we haven't dove into the Spirit of God being "breathed into me" or "done unto me."

If you really want people to know that Christ loves them this Holiday Season (and beyond) don't just talk and show or point to other places to find Jesus. Be Christ to them. Love them. Sacrifice for them.

God wasn't content to use prophets to tell people He loved them, He became flesh and entered their lives. Will you do the same?


Monday, December 07, 2015

"We're not aiming for the truck"

This is one of my favorite movie lines of all time. I got to watch it this weekend as we try to expand our daughter's movie tastes beyond Frozen and the Muppets.

It's from Toy Story, most of the movie is about two toys trying to get back to their owner, a boy named Andy. And after overcoming obstacle after obstacle they are finally making it back, headed right for the moving truck. After all, that's what they should be aiming for.

The truck's back door is open, it's easy to hit.
The truck is closest to them.
The truck has all the other toys in it.
The truck has been their goal all along.

Until "we're not aiming for the truck."

One of the toys isn't aiming for the safety of the truck. They're aiming for Andy. They're goal isn't to get to the easy win, they want to be with the child who loves them. It's further, it's harder, and it's a complete surprise because it's completely unexpected. No one would try for that.

But they did.

How often do we settle for something easier than the One who loves us? He's in the car ahead, He's harder to get to, the window to reach Him is smaller. Instead we go to the safer zone, the one with all the other toys. It takes a lot less work and we're with all the other toys so why bother going for the car?

Because HE is in the car.

I don't know about you, but that's where I'd rather be...


(P.S. Happy Birthday Dad!)