Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Words

We can all see the sights and sounds of Christmas all around us. We can also speak the words of Christmas, words that carry power and feeling. Most of us are most comfortable with the Familiar words like family, friends, fellowship, feasting, trees, lights, surprise and memories.

There are also Bible words like love one another, love our neighbor, love the stranger, love our enemies, and love the Lord with all your heart. These all come from the love God shared with us on that first Christmas.

Then there are the Season's words like peace, service, sharing, gifts, fairness, honesty, greetings, and have a happy. These are words that flow like a gentle stream from Thanksgiving through New Years.

At last there is the Supreme word: Christ, without whom there would be no Christmas. Preachers always want to remind us to keep the Christ in Christmas and I am no different. When ever you are speaking the words of Christmas remember that one supreme word that gives us all the rest.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What does it take for YOU?

The story is told about an angel walking down the street of Old Jerusalem with a torch in his right hand and a bucket of water in his left hand. Another angel saw him and asks, “What are you going to do with that fire and water?”  The first angel replied, “With the fire, I’m going to burn down the mansions of heaven, and with the bucket of water, I’m going to put out the fires of hell. Then we’ll see who really loves God.”

What a thought! Do you have to have hell scared out of you or the promise of golden streets to make you love God? Is it enough for you to love and praise God simply because God is God. Is it enough to love God as the creator of the universe, including the good earth we live on. What does it take for you to really love God?

God has expressed love for us many times but never forces us to love in return. But our love is what God desires from us. To be in love with God can be the most exhilarating feeling one can have. Sadly to few people feel the full effects of that kind of relationship and their lives suffer from the lack of it. Do you truly love God? How do you express you love for God? Does your love flow from a heart filled with joy because of God’s great gift of His son Jesus? What does it take for you to really love God?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Your Many Roads to Bethlehen

There were many roads to the manger in Bethlehem. The family of Jesus took one road; the shepherds took another and the wise men yet another. Today the roads that the pilgrim takes are also many for we come from many places. Can we travel with Mary, the wise men, or the shepherds? Is it possible for Christians to get so caught up in the real excitement of the birth of Christ that we can hear the angels sing?

The pilgrim who has the courage, faith, and discipline to make the journey will discover there the very presence of God. Travel the roads of adoration, joy, and giving as some of your personal roads to Bethlehem and the presence of God in your life. This is a week to put freshness in our faith as we prepare to receive the Christ Child and celebrate the advent of His first coming. This is a time to learn to serve God again, to act on our faith and live it our for Christ.

When you attend worship Christmas Sunday go the House of the Lord as a pilgrim on the road to Bethlehem seeking the light of the ages to guide you. Go and share in the adoration of the Christ Child who was the promise of the prophets and the hope of eternity. Join your fellow pilgrims on the road to Bethlehem.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Children In Church

I think most churches have a “Children’s Sermon/Moment” during worship where the children come to the front of the sanctuary for a message at their level. Adults often get more out of that message than a thirty minute sermon.

Sunday as I sat and looked at the children sitting on the chancel steps my thoughts went to those Connecticut who were missing from their congregations worship services. Pastor Mike mentioned that same thought later in the service. I think how we are so use to seeing our children sitting there and how precious they are. I felt for those parents the sadness of their children not being there.

I know that the whole country is praying for that community and their missing children whose funerals will darken this week’s spirit and joy.
Praying with tears today.