Monday, December 27, 2010

A Baby Boy

I want to introduce you to my grandbaby, Bennett. He is two and a half months old. (isn't he cute!) He was sitting, sleeping actually, two chairs down from me in Church on Sunday. I kept glancing over at him when baby Jesus was mentioned in the message. Words popped in my head like "vulnerability", "trust", "growth process"...

In my mind, I imagined the span of the life of Jesus. What was daily life like in the home of Mary and Joseph? They must have lived in wonder at times...and at times, probably forgot that Jesus was who he was. I am struck with awe after having witnessed Bennett's birth, that the Lord God Almighty made his entrance into our world in a similar way. Through a dark canal.

Have you ever thought of how much darkness there is in the story of Christmas? The story of Light coming to earth? Beginning with the long, rough trek to Bethlehem that Mary endured at an advanced stage of pregnancy. Then at the end of her journey, giving birth in a barn, and soon after having to flee the country with her little boy. All the while pondering reality in her heart, and remembering the prophecy..."he will pierce your own soul too"...

What about your own life and walk with the Lord? When we meet Him, and receive Him, the Light enters our own dark hearts...but His presence in us doesn't automatically shield us from dark things in our lives either. As we know, life on earth continues to have dark events.

After pondering dark times in your own life, think of how profound grace is. The enabling of God. The giving to us what we are unable to produce...everything really. What do we have that we were not given? It's all grace. All things good are a result of His Light in our darkness.

Immanuel, the greatest gift of all came through a dark canal. Mary and Joseph were given grace to trust and teach and guide Jesus as his parents. Now we can have the Light inside of us that overcomes even the deepest darkness!

That gives us great reason to celebrate Christmas!

John 12:46

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

Psalm 18:28

You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why God?

I sometimes like to think why God made us...(I know that's an elementary sentence, but I am feeling a bit elementary girlish right now!)

I was driving toward the river that separates Wisconsin from Minnesota today. The beautiful St Croix River...I was out getting last-minute things for our Ladies Christmas Cafe that took place this evening. I had red dogwood twigs from my yard, but needed boughs for the glass cylinders we were using for the centerpieces. Being the cold~weather wimp that I am, I didn't want to trudge through the snow in the back yard on an 11 degree day, so I did what any weather~wimpy girl would do, I went SHOPPING!

The river....we live in a magnificently beautiful area with dense forests, rivers, streams, lakes, bluffs, and hills; nature's beauty abounds. As I traveled along the highway to the florist, the snow-covered pine trees drew my mind toward God. I felt compelled to pull over and take a photo to share with someone. I felt so... "incomplete" enjoying it by myself!! ...and that got me thinking....

When I experience beauty like that, I JUST WANT TO SHARE IT WITH SOMEONE!! I found myself wishing I could express my  delight over the beauty I was passing on my drive. And I thought of God. Why did He create us? He knew we would sin, He knew He would have to send Jesus and sacrifice Him to get us back. Why?

I know I felt something of the heart of God when the desire to share my joy overwhelmed me. He made us to DELIGHT with Him, TO DELIGHT IN HIM...

Suddenly I had an overwhelming sense of His magnificent love for us, and for His desire to have us near Him. 

I wanted someone I LOVE to be in the vehicle with me to share my delight in God's amazing creation. (He wants me to share His delight with Him in His creation and in Him!)

ISN'T THIS THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS? ~I THOUGHT...AS I DELIGHT IN HIM, HE DELIGHTS IN ME! AND YOU! As soon as one sinner repents and opens his/her heart to Jesus, He jumps in! He swoops down to make His home in us. OH!!!! How He loves us!