PASTOR STEVE'S PONDERINGS - December 31, 2017



Christmas is over. Silent Night has been sung. Cookies have been eaten. Presents have been given, received and opened. Families have gone home. It’s the week to be thankful for gift receipts. Already have 3 hammers… don’t like cardigan sweaters, and I really wish those pants were my waist size. The manger is empty… Christmas is over.

Joy to the world, the Lord has come — and for a while we beheld him. The World was just a bit different. Christmas songs in the department store, neighborhoods with lit up homes and the jingle of the Salvation Army bell ringer reminded folks that Jesus has been born. But today I reflect on the reality, that as the twinkling lights of the season are turned off; how quickly people forget the wonder of the Savior who was born.

You know, that first Christmas Day in Bethlehem, most people missed the birth of Jesus, even as the angels threw the party of all parties in Heaven, they slept right through it. Without a visit from some sleepy shepherds there would have been no witnesses and without the arrival of some far off Magi there would have been no gifts. The next day Bethlehem went about its normal day, businesses were opened, housework was done, and the tax office was booming.

Today I am pondering this thought… What was that next day like for those shepherds? You know, the ones who had witnessed the angelic choir. The guys who had a conversation with The Captain of The Lord’s Army. The ones who found the young couple in the shadows of a small stable. Those with the honor of being the first to lay eyes on the One Who Would Save His People From Their Sins.

It couldn’t have been an ordinary day, right? Were they pensive and reflective or did they talk about it loudly? Did they truly understand or were they completely confused? But one thing is for certain… they had beheld him — and their lives would never be the same.

And that is the challenge for you and me, isn’t it? For we have beheld him… he has saved us from our sins… and our lives will NEVER be the same. We are the sheep of the Good Shepherd and we carry within us the message the angel announced all of those years ago. “I bring you good news of a great joy… a Savior has been born.” So even though the Christmas tree must eventually come down, let’s not let the wonder of Christmas disappear like all the decorations will. I know they will come back out next November, but could we… dare we… may we… behold him all year long in our hearts? And maybe, just maybe… could we help the world around us be a little bit different.

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