12.21.2010

A Humble Party

In just about every country you go, you find Christmas recognized in some way or another. All over the place there are people hanging lights, buying gifts, and singing jolly little songs. Parties and dinners are springing up everywhere, including all kinds of people. If you’ve really got connections, you could be at a different party every week. Social butterflies love this season!

Only a few select people were included in the first Christmas party, however. As important as the event was, you would think that it would be held at a glitzy country club with thousands invited. But it wasn’t. In fact, the invitation was more like, “Come join us at Bethlehem’s most reclusive stable. Hay will be provided . . .” The only “glitzy” thing about it was the system of delivery in the middle of the night: a host of angels.

Now, I’m sure the recipients of this invitation were not expecting this it all. They were forgotten shepherds in the backwoods, minding their own business while minding their sheep. But God didn’t seem to mind their occupation or lack of social glamour. So He joyfully gave them directions to the birth place of His baby boy. Someone had to know! (Luke 2:7-18)

Of course, like any proud parent, God couldn’t keep the good news to shepherds alone. So when Mary and Joseph went to Jerusalem to consecrate Jesus to the Lord, they were met by Simeon and Anna. These two Godly people didn’t get the pleasure of hearing Jesus’ birth announcement through the resounding voices of angels. But the clear voice of the Holy Spirit in their hearts was enough. They’re savior had been born! (Luke 2:21-38)

But what about all the religious leaders like the High Priest, Pharisees, and Sadducees? Surely, as spiritual as they were, they would have been in on the invitation. They had spent their whole lives declaring that Israel’s Messiah would come one day. Why no announcement to them?

This reminds me of I Corinthians 1:27 – 29:

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and
God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;
and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the
things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His
presence.

For something as great as the arrival of a nation’s long-awaited Messiah, the religious leaders expected something more glamorous than a stable birth. They expected pomp, power, and prestige. But their hearts were so full of pride that they would have scorned such a humble arrival. They rejected Jesus as an adult performing miracles. How could they have joyfully received Him as an infant?

Just like we want people to rejoice over our good news, God wants us to celebrate His greatest show of love to us. His challenge is to find people who will appreciate it. From the beginning, He chose to invite humble shepherds to the celebration because there was no pride that said they were too good for the stable. They recognized the miracle of it all and weren’t afraid to tell others. Then God revealed His promise to two faithful elderly people who had waited expectantly for years for His arrival. Their hearts were pure before God. They didn’t care who knew that they had seen the Child. They were satisfied in knowing that God had fulfilled His Word.

I admire the shepherds, Simeon, and Anna who weren’t too proud to see God’s glory in the “base” things of the world. They understood that God could work His miracles in whatever way He pleased. If we had hearts like theirs, what kind of miracle party would He invite us to?

12.03.2010

This Baby Is His

This Baby Is His
One night you gave it all away for a love that would not stay,
But one thing still inside remains, a beating heart within your womb.
Let him live, let him live.

This baby is His, this baby belongs to Him,
The child that you might throw away is precious in His eyes,
This baby is His, this baby belongs to Him,
What others say is just a form is heaven's gift to you,
This baby is His.

You determine this destiny; will this child still live to see,
A future made by God to be greater than you'll ever know.
Let her live, let her live.

Let him live; let love decide the truth,
Let her live; give hope to this new life.

(c) 2007 Words and Music by Christa A. Heider


A few years ago met someone who was considering getting an abortion. The very thought makes me want to cry. The baby's life now hangs in the balance. And like most abortions, the mother's decision is based on convenience; she doesn't want to deal with the responsibility that her "one night" brought into her life. You've probably heard – in reference to pro life groups – the phrase "sanctity of life." Webster’s definition of sanctity is "the fact of being sacred or inviolable (not to be violated, profaned, or injured).” Another similar word is "sanctified," meaning "set apart." When a child is conceived, God breathes life into that new person. He or she then belongs to Him – set apart for His plans, His desires, and His love. Regardless of whether or not the child chooses to submit to God later on in life, they are still God's created being. So when God sees a life taken in the womb, He sees one of His sacred masterpieces being destroyed. A plan that He envisioned before the world began has been snuffed out. What could grieve His heart more?
For those who have had an abortion, there is 100% forgiveness upon their repentance. God's willing to cleanse them and welcome them to Himself with open arms. If you know someone who is thinking about an abortion, don't let the truth go unsaid. Fight for the baby's life – through persuasion and prayer. You never know what kind of future the child might have in light of God's loving destiny.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
before you were born I sanctified you . . ." Jeremiah 1: 3a