Archives For Christmas

Today’s song is a familiar Christmas carol, jazzed up with a collaboration between Jars of Clay and Sara Groves. Take a listen to them singing it live here:

(Can’t see the video? Click here to redirect to the YouTube page.)

As I listen to this song, I like to close my eyes and imagine that I was in the field that night with the shepherds when all the angels appeared and sang their song announcing the birth of Jesus. Surely that would have to be a terrifying experience for all of them. It also had to be exciting. I can’t imagine that the shepherds that night were imagining much more than a typical day tending their flocks.

But I think that there had to be an experience that was intriguing. Maybe they were filled with hope. The angels came in Luke 2 announcing the message of a Savior born for all people. All their lives, these shepherds had heard a message that told them they were excluded and they weren’t good enough. The ruling Romans treated them as second-class citizens. The religious leaders of the day reinforced that people could never be acceptable to God unless they were the religious elite. But the angels came crashing in with a different message; the redemption and restoration and salvation that these shepherds had been waiting for was now available, and not just to a certain group of people, but to every person.

In this Christmas season, some of you reading this are feeling the weight of being out. Of being not good enough. I really hope that today we are all reminded of the beauty of the Christmas message. It’s not just a message for the religious elite. For some people. It’s for all people. Including you and me.

Advertisements

Well, today kicks off a series of Christmas-related #MusicMonday posts. Through the month of December, we’ll have a chance to take a look at a few songs that lead us to worship in a new way this Christmas season! Today, we’ll kick off with a song that’s actually a re-post from last year from Hillsong, called We Have a Savior.

(Can’t see the video? Click here to navigate to the YouTube link.)

As you listen to this song today, I’d simply love for you to stop and reflect on the difference that Jesus makes. At Christmas, we celebrate Jesus’ birth, and along with it, a new way to discover life with God. For years, mankind had been groping around, lost, looking for direction and for any way that we could experience a relationship with God. Up to this point, we’d largely come up with nothing. But in Jesus, God became flesh and all of a sudden, the way to know God was crystal clear.

Jesus changes everything. What a great place to begin reflection for us this Christmas season.

…by Tina Hines

It is always humbling to speak all the names of Jesus.  Isaiah 9:6 says:  …“he will be called:  wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  I’m not sure how you’ve referenced Jesus lately.  Maybe it’s:  Friend, Savior, your Rock, the Lord of your life, your stronghold…or maybe in this season you’ve referred to Him as the baby – Jesus…son of God.

 

Anyway you think of Jesus, one word really sums up what God intended.  That we are able to catch a glimpse of the relational God, the one who desires us to know Him:  the one word is:  Immanuel, which means “God With Us”.

WOW!  those are strong words.  He came to be “WITH” us.  Matthew 1:21…”she will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins”.  I’m grateful and humbled to know the God of the universe and His great love for me, for you, that He sent His son Jesus to come be with us.  To walk among us.  To show us how to live and how to live eternally with Him.  Jesus is “the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father, except through me.  If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him”.

Pretty amazing, isn’t it? 

Immanuel.  His name is called, Immanuel.  God with us, revealed to us.  His name is called – Immanuel.

…by Doug Gamble

If Jesus had not come the world would be dramatically different.  Sunday’s message contained an overwhelming amount of information that shows how our lives today would be different.  It is just simply true that Jesus has changed the world.  From hospitals to educational institutions to humanitarian organizations, Jesus has literally left his fingerprints everywhere.

And we are his hands and feet.

It is Jesus’ followers throughout the ages who have taken His mission seriously who have shaped this world.  They recognized that Jesus didn’t come to be served but to serve and so they followed suit.  And as they worked to spread His message of grace and truth they made the world a better place because they followed in His footsteps.

Their example really forces a question:  How am I following in His footsteps?  How am I bringing grace and truth to my world?  How am I helping to bring Heaven to earth?

This could mean getting involved in a local organization that is meeting needs.  It could mean sponsoring a child through Compassion International (http://www.compassion.com).  It could mean inviting a neighbor over for Christmas because you know they will be alone.

What you do is really dependent on who you are.  God has created you with unique strengths, skills and interests.  Consider them as you seek out places you can help leave the fingerprint of Jesus.  Most importantly do something.  Don’t wait for the perfect thing.  Do the next thing that you can do.