The Night Hope Broke In to our World

3330791The walk from the back of the church seemed to be in slow motion as I walked to a narrators reading of the Christmas story. As I took each step in my makeshift gunnysack shepherd costume, this nervous six-grader who was in the Christmas program was drawn into the biblical truth. Though my cane and turban might have been nothing more than homemade, the reality of the birth of our savior was becoming personal to my young heart.

Every year as I watch the young children put on their annual Christmas programs I can’t help but reminisce not only on my own experience of the birth of Christ but also the account of the shepherd’s that were tending their flocks. In Luke 2:8-10, we read their story, “there were … shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them…”.

Let your minds eye wonder with imagination to that hillside outside the city in a distant field. Not only did the livestock live and settle there but the lowest of the social pyramid, the shepherds also made it their home. An occupation that was high

Hope didn’t come through a palace but through a Savior being born in a humble stable for all the earth to receive.       (tweet)

on the list many years before had now slid down to the lowest of low. Shepherds were in the same category as tax collectors and those that cleaned up dung in the streets.

It was quite different from what we had seen mentioned early in Genesis and throughout the times of the Patriarchs being a shepherd was a desired lifestyle for many sects of mankind. The sons of Isaac and Jacob tended flocks (Gen. 30:29; 30:12). Jethro, the priest of Midian, employed his daughters as shepherdesses (Ex. 2:16). Even Moses was a shepherd on the backside of the desert before he was branded by God’s glory. Yet, in the course of time things had changed and now being a shepherd was for the lowly.

Hope had also dwindled in the midst of God’s chosen people for it had been spiritually quiet for four hundred years. I am positive on a clear night many shepherds as they watched over their herds would gaze at the beautiful star-studded sky Continue reading

I Just don’t have any Room this Christmas!

1 vacacyOver the years William H. Hunt’s famous allegorical painting, “The Light of the World” has stirred not only my heart but thousands of onlookers. The painting was originally painted over a hundred and fifty years ago in a small hut at Worcester Park Farm in Surrey and now beautifies the wall of the chapel at Keble College in Oxford. According to Hunt he painted the picture with what he thought was a divine command, and not simply as a good subject. This heart gripping painting illustrate Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him”.

This time of the year we celebrate the birth of Christ our Lord, yet so many have no room for Him.  (Tweet)

In the very beginning of scripture we see God’s heart in His creation. It says in Genesis not only did God create mankind, but also walked and talked with them in the garden. God has always wanted to be with us. To say it frankly, God can’t get enough of us. Hunt’s painting rightly shows God’s desire to come and commune with mankind. He is knocking and calling to us, but the ability to open the door lies within our responsibility.

The innkeeper in the Christmas story had no room for the baby Jesus. We read in Luke 2:7, “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” The savior of the world makes His entrance into history through the humbleness of a barn due to there being no room in the local inn. Every time I see a neon “No Vacancy” sign in the window of a motel I think of this sad story. The bottom line is there was room in the inn. Where you ask? The innkeeper had his room and could have easily given it to the young pregnant mother. Whatever his excuse might have been, it locked the door on Jesus coming into his house.

Have you made room for Jesus in your life? Have you opened the door for Christ to come in and sup with you? This time of the year we celebrate the birth of Christ our Lord, yet so many have no room for Him. They have been caught and swept away in the hustle and bustle of the holiday.

The innkeeper had his room and could have easily given it to the young pregnant mother. (tweet)

The multitudes are rushing around trying to get the perfect gift and decorations so they can please everyone except for the one that it matters the most, the king and savior of the world.

In 2 Kings 4:8 there’s a story of the Shunammite women who made room for Elisha to stay at her house, which is a type of making room for Christ in our lives. She even went so far as setting up a permanent room for him. She didn’t want just a casual acquaintance with him, but a in-depth relationship. It says as often as the man of God would go that way that he would turn in there. That says it all… If we make room for God, He will come in and commune with us.

In Luke 19:5 Jesus tells Zacchaeus, “make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” Wow! He was up in a tree trying to see Jesus and therefore Jesus goes to his House. God can’t get enough of us and wants to spend time with us. Will you this Christmas make room for Jesus?