Thursday, December 25, 2008
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)
These prophetic words spoken by the prophet Isaiah foretold the coming birth of Jesus, and the incredible significance that this birth would have in the course of human history.
Today as you celebrate Christmas with your family and friends, I pray that with all the chaos of opening presents, and turkey dinners, and eating WAY TOO MUCH STUFFING, that you remember Jesus, his birth, and the incredible significance that this birth still has today.
So how will you celebrate the birth of Jesus today? How will your Christmas celebrations give glory to Jesus? How will his life and message change your heart this Christmas?
Wishing All Of You A Very Merry Christmas,
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Christmas is soon upon us. And being on staff at my church does help awaken my heart to the what Christmas is all about. Perhaps it's all the "Christmas-y events" that we plan: Community Christmas Cafe, Caroling, Christmas Eve Service etc... or perhaps it's the fact that being a pastor almost forces me to come face-to-face every year with the true reason for the season.
It’s not hard to read a verse like Luke 1:31 “You[Mary] will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus” and not get excited about the significance of the birth of Jesus. Personally this verse rings so true in my life since Charity is with child and we anticipate the arrival of our first born together in June 2009. There is great hope, great peace, great comfort and great joy all pieced together like a glorious mosaic when we come to celebrate the arrival of Emmanuel—God with us.
And I think that last sentence is what really gets me excited this year. There was so much excitement with the prophesied arrival of the new-born King. The whole notion of Emmanuel—God with us, has truly spoken to my heart this year. There is nothing that I look forward to more for this up-coming year then for the birth of my child! Likewise, there was no greater excitement 2,000 years ago then from the birth of Jesus--born to Joseph & Mary (who was a virgin!)
This is where the mystery of Christmas still exists. Born of a virgin? Is that possible? Many doubt it...many refuse to believe such a miracle could even be possible. Even Mary herself had difficulty grasping at such a notion!
"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God...For nothing is impossible with God" (Luke 1:34-35, 37)
Nothing is impossible with God! Not even Mary being with child and giving birth to Jesus--Emmanuel, God with Us. The baby Jesus, born in a manger...was God in human flesh! The image of the invisible God! What a great joy that was to those who knew the prophesy's, and who know believed--with all their hearts!
My prayer for you this Christmas is that you breath deep the comforting smells of Christmas, open your eyes to the beautiful lights that brighten up our cities, and pause—if even for just a few moments—and come to a place of peace where the significance of Christmas becomes strikingly apparent: that baby Jesus born in a manger would change the course of history...and change many lives forever...mine and yours included!
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Yup...for those of you who watched my "Town Home Renovations" video you were some of the first to find out that--indeed Charity is "with child" (kind of a great Christmas(ish) reference there!)
We're going to be parents! And we are now broadcasting this to the world!
Thank you to all who have left comments and have been overwhelmingly encouraging!
Our bundle of joy is schedule to arrive on June 6th...just in time for Father's Day!