Christmas Is Just Beginning

Suddenly ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ is disappearing right before your eyes. Indeed, Christmas soon will be only a memory – except for the bills, the extra pounds you’ve acquired and those pesky needles that will appear in the oddest places for the next six months. Which is okay, because you’re probably ready for life to get back to normal. But the Good News of a Great Joy is that life never gets back to normal for one simple reason: the reality of Christmas is just beginning! The fact that God has come to us as one of us to share the fullness of God’s life can never be limited to a single day, 12 days or even a season. So much so, Christmas can be just as real for you on that hot steamy day next June as it was yesterday morning.

Merry ChristBirth!

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son. Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. (John 1: 14, The Message)

May the reality that Jesus lives with you fill you with joy, compassion and unending hope. Not just today, but every day. Merry ChristBirth!

A Christmas Eve Prayer

 

Lord,

On this Holy Night, we joyfully celebrate how You became one of us in the most unlikely way. Not because You had to. But because You wanted to. 

       As a child born to young parents alone and afraid.

       A teacher who shared Your love with all.

       And a Savior who gives us what we need, but can never get on our own.

On this Holy Night, we long for the Christ Child to be born into every nook and cranny of our lives.

       For the very first time.

       The first time in a long time.

       And in ways that will change us from the inside out.

On this Holy Night, we wait to be filled to overflowing with Your love.

       Love so unconditional it accepts us just the way we are.

       Love so transformational it just can’t leave us the way we are.

       And love so invitational it welcomes us into Your life itself.

On this Holy Night, we make a passionate commitment to follow Jesus.

       To go where he leads us.

       Share his love every day.

       And do it in the midst of everyday life.

On this Holy Night, we are ready to experience spiritual revival.

       Beginning right now.

        Continuing every day of our lives. 

        And lasting for eternity.

On this Holy Night, we simply pray that Your Will shall be as real on earth as it already is in heaven. And we do so in the name of the Christ Child who is our Savior, Lord, Brother and Friend.

Amen.

It’s Your Christmas Story

You know the Christmas Story about angels who predict the future, a scandalous pregnancy, the birth of the One who came to save the world in a dung-filled stable, marginalized people being the first to hear Good News of a great joy, a heavenly chorus filling the sky with praise, pagans diving what has truly occurred and a king so threatened he murders innocent children. But this unlikely tale is not just a story. It conveys a miraculous, mysterious and life-changing reality: God has come to us as one of us in the most personal way possible to share the love we absolutely need, but can never get on our own. And even though what happened is cosmic in nature, it is also absolutely personal. Because – believe it or not – it includes you. And how it changes everything about everything. Not just now. But forever.

New Life

An unplanned pregnancy. A hurried trip to Bethlehem in response to a government edict. No place to stay. The birth of a child in a stable far away from family. Shepherds visited by singing angels. A star. An evil king seeking to kill a small child. Pagan kings traveling to find a Savior. Talk about chaos! Yet it was through this chaos that God entered the world. A different kind of chaos reigns today. Financial struggles for millions. Substance abuse that destroys lives. Families breaking up. Technology that threatens to mimic science fiction’s worst nightmares. Terrorism. And thousands of children dying from diseases of poverty every single day. But if you look through eyes of faith, you’ll see something more than just the chaos. You’ll see – and be able to welcome – the child born in a manger who is bringing new life from the chaos. In your life. The lives of those you love. And the world.