I interrupt this blog series about the 12 Steps to post this message that God gave me during church last Sunday. He kind of won’t get off my back writing it, like maybe someone else out there needs to hear the message. So, here we go.
Step Eight seems like a good place to take a rest anyway.
“Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness
We lose the meaning of it all, in the quest to get it right. This Christmas thing is hard to fathom, under our own might.
We know that Jesus was born in a manger, We know that animals lowed nearby, We know the wise men brought him presents, We’ve all heard of the star that guided them nigh.
But stop the Christmas rush for a moment, Silence the bells and jingling sleighs, Look beyond trees and feasts and caroling, And elaborate displays.
Remember for a moment what we most often forget, Let it rest in your heart (where it’s a perfect fit!) Christmas is about a God crazy for you …
Listen …. Can you hear him pursue?
A God who became human for a time, just to be closer to you?
The Creator of the universe craving relationship, Wanting to be where you are? That small, still voice following you Like the bright Bethlehem star?
So far across the universe, yet as close as drawing breath, What could make God’s people see This love that conquers death?
God sent his son – a part of Himself – A promise he’d made long before. And so to Mary, a son was born, On a humble stable floor.
God himself poured over bones, and under fragile skin, To draw you close and know your pain, and forever conquer sin.
God made manifest in a baby boy, Who would grow to save the world. And bring them the gospel of truth and joy, His prophesy unfurled.
Hark the herald angels sing! Peace on earth, good will toward men! Do not fear, Your God is near, Even to the end.
Emmanuel – God With Us – Yeshua, God most high! The hope for everlasting life Heard in an infant’s cry.
That’s the meaning of Christmas.
Rejoice in your heart of hearts, Where God has made his home … Your heart – the manger for the savior, Filled with peace – Shalom.
“Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”
About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.
While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel. An Event for Everyone
There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”
At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:
Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.
As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.
Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!
I wrote this poem for my youngest daughter when she was going through a rough time, and I’m posting it with her permission. (She has grown up to be all the good things that her mama predicted, by the way….she was all along – she just had to figure it out).
I’m kicking around the idea of making Saturday Blog entries a showcase for poetry. The poem below, entitled “Five” is one I wrote about several years ago for my step-daughter. It addresses the blending of our families, in simple prose.
Please let me know what you think about “Saturday Evening Poet” blog posts in the “Comments” section, and thank you!