January 22, 2010

Christmas on the brain - Part One

Most people have tossed the Christmas tree and taken down the lights. The nativity and the ornaments are packed away for next year. It's supposed to be time for resolutions, exercise routines and a new reading list.

Is that what's on your mind? Or maybe the headlines are on your mind ~ politics, earthquakes, the economy.

Me? My mind is still on Christmas. I keep coming back to the story. I hear the words of Luke as I sit on my bed meditating.

"Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus," Luke 1:1-3

And so starts the greatest story on earth.

I think there is good reason why we celebrate the birth of Christ at the end of December...it's not just a coincidence...to prepare us for the next year.

Maybe I was too absorbed in the tree farm and the Spontaneous Santos Expedition to experience Christmas fully. Maybe that's why I am still thinking of Jesus in the manger when everyone else is getting ready for Valentine's Day.

Read Luke chapter one.

An angel of the Lord appears unto Zechariah and says "Fear not, Zechariah: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. (vs13)

I love this verse. It tells me three things:

* He called him by name and he knew his wife too. LORD, what [is] man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him! Psalm 144:3

* God does not want us to be afraid.

* God hears our prayers. He does answer, in His time.

In verse 14 we see how God wanted Joy and Gladness for Zechariah ~ not only him ~ it reads, "and many shall rejoice at his birth." God's desire for us is JOY and GLADNESS. Doesn't that sound wonderful? Right now so many people are full of fear and pain, but there is this good news out there that saves people. GOOD NEWS PEOPLE!

What am I doing with this great news? What is my focus on?

Well, I am probably just like Zechariah. He had an angel of the Lord tell him this awesome news and look at what he was focused on.

And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. (vs 18)

Dwelling on the impossible, the inconceivable, the unattainable. He was old. His wife was worse than old. She was well stricken in years!

My, my.

His prayers had been heard. God's desire for him was Joy and Gladness. An angel of the Lord came to bring this great message to him ~ even quoting from the last message from God in 400 years (vs 17), but Zechariah didn't believe.

What do you believe? Does it make any difference in your life?

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