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Showing posts from December, 2011

Christmas Grace

The Season of Christmas is not over for the church.We still have much to think about and much to celebrate.The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Christmastide, is celebrated in the church from December 25 through January 5.Christmas isn’t officially over until January 6 when the Feast of the Epiphany is celebrated.I heard a new Christmas Anthem that opened my heart to the reality of Christmas.It is entitled Christmas Grace, and the songwriter wrote it for her granddaughter.In it she tells of the wonder of Christ.One line in the song states: Grace to share our frailty, understand our fragile lot; Jesus laid aside His power to be helped, trained, and taught.To know the sting of hunger, feel the pain of grief and loss, God’s Son allowed Himself to be born for us!He traded heaven’s majesty, He left His glorious throne for wood and hay and rubble, as hell of flesh and bone.The Lord Almighty locked in a single time and place.This is Christmas Grace!(Ruth Elaine Schram, The Lorenz Publi…

Advent 4--Love-The Greatest Virtue

I don't recall where I heard the story, but I remember that a missionary was asked by a child to draw a picture of love.The missionary thought for a moment and considered drawing a heart—a well-recognized symbol of love. A heart did not seem to express the kind of love she had come to know as God’s love.She inwardly asked God to inspire her when suddenly she thought of the perfect picture of love and it was the easiest picture to draw.She simply drew a cross. I may have forgotten where I read that story, but I have never forgotten the wonder of her answer.God’s love for us is so vast, yet it can be communicated in such a modest symbol.In fact, the reason we know this esteemed virtue is because God is the architect of our world and love is the foundation of every cell.Corrupt as we all are by sin, there are hints of love in the most heinous places on earth.Love is the force that holds back God’s wrath. I love the season of Christmas when I see so much love overflowing in so many plac…

Advent 3--JOYFUL EXPECTATION

The first week of Advent found me double-booked with activities that included two opportunities to share about the work that God did on our summer mission trip and another opportunity to share the Gospel with a group of senior adults.On top of that there were regular teaching sessions and several parties to attend.Though I had to prepare food, devotions, lessons and talks, I cannot contain the joy that was mine for the privilege of sharing with others how God was near to me.It is what Paul felt in his Philippian jail where he wrote, Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near (Philippians 4:4-5). Joy which results from winning the national championship, landing the big job, or winning the grand prize dream trip is easy to understand.It is when joy comes from unexpected circumstances that it becomes God-given joy.It is this kind of joy that we celebrate on the third week of Advent when we light the third candle which t…

Advent 2--The Face of God--PEACE

Recently I had a conversation with someone from another country who did not grow up hearing the Christmas stories about Jesus.She asked me an interesting question.She asked me if I could show her a picture of God. Like any good-hearted American I pulled out my Iphone and googled picture of God.Up came several famous ones—like Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel painting.As I showed them to her, I told her about the Bible and the Ten Commandments, explaining that the first four Commandments talk about our relationship with God.I explained that God is the one who told us not to make an image of Him.I told her about Noah wanting to see Him and how God hid Moses in the crest of a rock and passed by so that he saw His back as He passed by.God did this so Moses could see Him and live.Our sin keeps us from being able to see God.She replied, He doesn’t let us see Him because He loves us.Yes, I answered. She commented:I know that you feel Him in your heart, I can sense that when you pray.I told her th…