And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
Some of my favorite verses to read at Christmas are Luke 2:8-14. Jesus is our Hope – I have come to know Him as mine over the years – and He will bring peace at last, whether here or in the life to come. No more fear. No more pain. Just, no more.
To some, this may sound like escapist mentality. But in reality, the good news of Jesus and salvation are not here to merely provide an “escape” from the ills of this world, although in many seasons an escape may be necessary. He came to earth to walk with us and talk with us, and, thankfully, to experience life through our eyes. His humanity is why we can trust that He hears us and sees us and that He understands at every turn. His divinity is why we can trust that He will make a way of escape when it becomes necessary; and, when it is not, He will give us the strength we need to walk the hard road and to grow from it.
I need peace this season, especially with some of the things in the news these days. I bet you do too. So here’s a song for all of us, because sometimes you have to say it – or sing it – to see it. Let there be peace on earth.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
Love, true love, makes you brave. This is the thought that came to mind when I read these verses this morning. It made me think of David’s bravery as a shepherd, which we heard nothing of until he recounted his experiences to Saul while preparing to face Goliath. He said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” Goodness! I have never faced a lion or a bear – but I can tell you that if I heard they were even within 10 miles of me, I would be long gone! Oh, I would definitely try to alert and possibly save my family too but oh brother! Continue reading A brave love
I love how the next verse (verse 18) says to “encourage one another with these words.” We have the hope of rising again to meet Jesus in the air because He came, He died, and He rose again! Think of it as your equivalent of the Latin phrase veni vidi vici (I came, I saw, I conquered); except, in this case, this was and still is a victory for the entire world – for you, for me! So, comfort and encourage one another, as it says in verse 18. We won!
For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
My pastor spoke today about what he referred to as the principle of replacement: God’s righteousness replaces our sinful nature.
How I wish for God’s love to replace our hate in today’s world. Continue reading The Principle of Replacement
Yes, we all really do. We all begin life feeding on what mother eats, contributing to changes in mother’s body – most notably, the famous baby bump which may or may not disappear after baby is born – and, in some cases, changes in mother’s mental health. In this time of hate and chaos, if we remember nothing else, we really all do have this in common: we all begin life as predators. Continue reading We all begin life as Predators
But God said to Jonah, “Do you do well to be angry for the plant?” And he said, “Yes, I do well to be angry, angry enough to die.” And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”
A quick background story: God had sent Jonah on a sort of ‘special op’ – into dangerous territory, to deliver a not-so-friendly message. Continue reading Jonah’s Rage – Giving Up Control