Posted on Wed, Nov 28, 2018
Pastor Bob Norton
Let’s go to the heart of the matter. The coming of the divine Christ into the world is an incredibly important historical event; it happened in Palestine two thousand years ago. That is astoundingly good news, but the better news is that the same Christ seeks to enter the hearts of each of us today. Jesus’ birth, therefore, is history - but it is also a parable, written in history about how God still seeks to enter the human heart. Our amazing God can be revealed both in history and in our souls. In his hymn, “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” Phillips Brooks said it well: How silently, how silently, The wondrous gift is given! So God imparts to human hearts The blessings of his heaven. No ear can hear his coming, But in this world of sin, Where meek souls will receive him, still The dear Christ enters in. What are some of the other ways which God might use to bring you the best Christmas ever? Here are some…try them on and see if they fit! First, Step into the Story! The Christmas narratives are found in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2. Read. Meditate. And step into the stories becoming a shepherd or a wise man. Make your personal pilgrimage to the manger of the Christ Child this Christmas. Second, Let God put a Song in Your Heart! Are you a singer? Or not? It doesn’t matter…singing is about joy. God is the source of authentic joy. Joy is His gift. Receive it. Do you hear the angels singing? Sing with them. The joy of their chorus will drown out your errant notes and you’ll be caught up in the chorus of the ages. Third, Spend More Time Praying than Shopping! Shopping will exhaust you, but praying will energize you. Try several of our Daily Praise & Prayer times…it will restore your soul. Fourth, Listen to the Sounds of Silence! Sit before a single, lighted candle and meditate on “I am the Light of the World.” (John 8:12) And become the light of your world (Matthew 5:14-16). Fifth, Don’t Frenzy into Buying and Giving Gifts, but Gracefully Become a Gift. Spending time and meaningful conversation with friends may be their best gift of the season. Give yourself away. Sixth, Incarnate His Love. The meaning of “incarnation” is found in John 1:14 which reads, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…full of grace and truth.” You could take your turn volunteering at the Flagstaff Family Food Center feeding the hungry or maybe ringing the bell at the Salvation Army red kettle. You could bring food or volunteer at “The Pantry.” You could sing carols at the jail (December 12). You could help host the homeless at our church (December 9-15). If you do, welcome the stranger as if he or she was Christ himself (Galatians 4:14). And seventh, Let Christmas Happen in Your Heart…Keeping Christmas All the Year! I love the story of Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. His heart was greedy, mean, and dark, but the spirits of Christmas past, present, and future gave him God’s perspective and he was gloriously transformed into a heart which was giddy and generous…blessing all who crossed his path. Truly, it was his best Christmas ever!
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