Tag Archives: Christmas

Let There Be Change

New Year’s Day is always one week to the day after Christmas.  It is very fitting that this is the case.  To truly “get” Christmas always calls for change.  What kind of change has Christmas called for in your life?

Making the Leap

We saw in “Let There Be Light” how a group of shepherds were going through another routine night watching their sheep.  Suddenly the night was anything but routine.

The appearance of an angel, the light of the glory of the Lord, a revelation of the Savior’s birth, and a heavenly multitude praising God made the night extremely extraordinary.

The shepherds journeyed to Bethlehem to see if these things were so.  Was there really lying in a manger in the City of David, a Savior who was the Messiah and the Lord?

When they got to the manger and found Jesus, these shepherds were never the same again.  They immediately made known what had been told them about this special child so that all that heard marveled at what they were being told.

As they left the city, they did so as men who had been changed.  Coming in they were still probably wondering what they would find.  Would they really find the Messiah lying in a manger?  Could they really have seen and heard a heavenly chorus? What did any of this mean to their life?

Having found Jesus just as they were told, they knew the truth.  “the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.” (Luke 2:20)

These men were changed!  They were now praisers of God.  They continually gave Him glory.  They were never the same again.

Anyone who truly sees who Jesus is; that He is the unique Son of God, who left heaven to come and die for their sins, can never be the same again. Change MUST come!  How could you not praise God and continually give Him glory.

Have you really celebrated Christmas recently?  Is the change evident in your life?  Let There Be Change!

Let There Be Peace

Peace.  The saying of the word itself unleashes a torrent of craving in the heart.  With all the striving and strife in the world, and even within our own hearts and minds, how we long for a beautiful refreshing peace.

Heavenly Dove

What would we give for peace?  How can we obtain peace?  Is peace even available?

Jumping straight to the good news: peace is available!  God has made peace with men.  If we have peace with God, we can have peace within.  If we are at peace with ourselves, we can be at peace with others.

In “Let There Be Light” we saw how night was turned brighter than day as the glory of the Lord shown around chosen shepherds near Bethlehem.  In “Let There Be Joy” we discovered that an angel brought good tidings of great Joy which will be to all people.

Suddenly, after these things a multitude of the heavenly host joined the angel doing two things:

  1. Praising God
  2. Proclaiming a saying

Praising God seems pretty self-explanatory and something that would seem to be as natural as breathing to heavenly hosts.  The real question about praising God is why it is as not as natural as breathing to us.  What is wrong with us?

The fact that there IS something wrong with us is what makes the saying that the multitude was proclaiming so special.  The saying is in two parts:

  1. Praising God yet again
  2. Proclaiming the peace of God

“Glory to God in the highest” was the opening of the multitude.  Indeed all glory belongs to Him.  To Him we owe our being, even as we exist in the universe that He has created.  He is the source of all things, and in Him we have our being. 

Glory to God indeed!  The fact that we don’t start every saying with that proclamation reveals continually that we are hiding from God even as Adam and Eve because of consciousness of our sin.

This fact of our sin before a holy and glorious God is what makes the second part of the saying so special.  God retains His glory and holiness, even as He extends the lifeline of peace to fallen man. 

When the shepherds went to Bethlehem, they went to see a Savior.  God was still holy, but now “on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” 

“A Savior has come, God sent us His Son.”  These beautiful words were in the Christmas cantata that we sang this year. Jesus came to pay the price for our sin that we could never pay.  Praise be to God in the highest for His magnificent gift!  Let there be peace.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”               Luke 2:13-14

Christmas Program Recap

We had a great Christmas program Sunday, December 20, 2010. The skit by the kids was precious and a good reminder that Jesus is the reason for Christmas.

We had several specials. Kelsey played a couple of piano solos. Scott played his sax, and Don read the Christmas story.

We finished with a candlelight service which featured singing “Alleluia” with only the cross lit after a trio of special readings. We read a missionary letter that reminded us that Jesus died for all people everywhere.

After everyone had their candle lit by way of their neighbor which was ultimately lit by the one “Christ” candle, we sang “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World.” We enjoyed refreshments and fellowship afterward. A great way to start Christmas week.

Hope that you pause this Christmas to think about, and thank the One who came to die for you!

Let There Be Joy

“Joy to the World” is one of the favorite Christmas carols.  Why should this be a season of joy?  Can a hurting world really have joy?

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On a long ago night outside the town of Bethlehem, shepherds were keeping watch over their flocks by night.  Suddenly their night was transformed.  An angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord shone around them.  They weren’t just frightened, they were “greatly afraid.”

The angel spoke four things to the shepherds.  The first one might be expected, but it of great comfort none the less.  The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.”  He didn’t want them cowering in fear.  The news that he brought was good news.

After encouraging the shepherds not to be afraid, the angel continues: “behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.” Luke 2:10 

Behold- see this!  The tidings that the angel was bringing were good tidings and he didn’t want them to miss seeing them as such.  Don’t be afraid, I’ve been sent from heaven to bring you good tidings of great joy.  Not just joy. Great Joy!

Great Joy is the gift to man from God at Christmas.  These good tidings of great joy were to be to all people.  God sent His Son to die  not just for the Jews, but for all men

The third statement by the angel is why we should have great joy, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11 

What an amazing statement.  There was One being born who was a Savior. He would also be the long awaited Messiah or Christ.  But more than all that He was also the Lord!  Here in one simple statement is the greatest mystery of the universe.  Jesus, a very human baby, was also Emmanuel, God with us, sent to be our Savior!

The fourth statement was an unusual sign that would confirm that the good tidings of great joy about the birth of the Messiah as promised in Bethlehem was true.  When they went to the city of David they would find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. Luke 2:12

Not where you would expect to find the Messiah?  Not where you would plan to bow down before the Lord?  Yet the Creator of the heaven and the earth was lying just as they were told, as a humble baby, which was the Savior, Christ the Lord.

Let there be Joy!  A Savior has come, who is Christ the Lord!

Let There Be Light

Darkness is not a thing.  It is actually the absence of a thing, that “thing” being light.  Oftentimes we are so accustomed to darkness or near darkness that it is quite startling when light is suddenly turned on.

Let There Be Light

Imagine how it was for the shepherds on the night that Jesus the Messiah was born.

Now there were … shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  Luke 2:8

To them it was a night like many that had stretched on before, and they assumed would be the same this night.  In the darkness they probably took turns watching and listening for threats to their flock while others slept.  Suddenly everything changed:

And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  Luke 2:9

What a startling contrast.  Suddenly the darkness that they were used to was no more.  In an instant everything changed.  No one now slept. The focus of everyone was riveted on a heavenly being as light of the glory of the Lord lit everything around them.

For these shepherds it was the first of several extraordinary events of that night.  The darkness that they had grown so used to was shown for the nothing that it was.  The fixation on things physical was eclipsed by the revelation of things spiritual.

Suddenly there was a messenger sent from God!  Suddenly there was heavenly light!  Suddenly there was great fear!

When we become too complacent in our physical lives, when we become too used to the dark, when we become too adept at rationalizing compromise with the world and sin, we need the light of the Lord shined into our world.

I love the word “behold” at the start of the sentence about the revelation of the angel and light and fear.  It is a signpost that tells us to not just read this, but to grad hold of this truth.  Put yourself there on that night going about your nightly routine when it is suddenly shattered by God revealing His Son.  Then take that truth and apply it to your life today.

Let there be light as God shines anew the revelation of His gift to the world this Christmas season.  Come out of the darkness into His glorious presence and gaze in awe at the majesty of the God who loved us and gave His Son for us.