“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.” —Matthew 2:6
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” —Isaiah 60:1
“For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”—Luke 2:30-32
“ On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.”—Luke 2:21
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”—Luke 2:11
“ But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”—Luke 2:19
“…Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him”—Matthew 2:2
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.“—Luke 2:14
It wasn’t until after I had kids of my own that Christmas took on a deeper meaning. The holiday now conjures up thoughts of how Mary and Joseph felt as expectant parents, new parents and parents learning to let their kids go… Did either of them even have a clue what was in store for Jesus?
When my oldest was a baby, I had a full-length mirror attached to the back of my bedroom door. At first, he would have conversations with the babe in the mirror. When he learned it was himself in the mirror, it was great fun!! About the time he was learning to walk, he fell into the mirror and cracked it. That small crack was enough to cut him as he fell. When he started to bleed, I tried not to panic, but it was his first real wound and it bled like crazy!! As I bandaged him up, God gave me some perspective.
As much as my heart ached to see my son bleed and hurt, it didn’t come close in comparison to the wounds that God’s Son took for us!! I gasped out loud when that thought hit me. Then I had to admit to myself that I could NEVER give my son for someone else! Don’t take this personally, but… I can say I love you and mean it. However, I don’t love you enough to give my son for you. But that’s exactly what God did for us. MIND BENDER!!!
And to bend the mind a bit more, God knew LONG before Jesus was born to Mary that He would die for us!!! THAT is how deep God’s love is for us.
About 16 years after this little “epiphany” of mine, the Christian music group Selah released a Christmas CD that had a song on it that beautifully conveys this whole mind-bending love that God has for us…
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”—John 1:14
Christmas is likely the most anticipated Holiday of the year. But if you’ve recently lost a loved one, you may be dreading it! Gary Roe, Chaplain at Hospice Brazos Valley, chatted with Brian & Ann about how to help cope with loss during this time of year.
“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.”—Matthew 1:21
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means “God with us”).”—Matthew 1:23
“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” —II Corinthians 13:11
Last year my grandmother’s dog/companion of 10 years passed away in October. I decided we needed to get her a new companion for Christmas since it isn’t the best time of year for her (2 years ago her middle daughter passed away and she has also lost 2 other children). My siblings and my mother got her a puppy and totally surprised her with it on Christmas day and she had no clue! When the sweet puppy jumped out of the box into her arms, the tears from everyone and the joy in her eyes made it the best Christmas knowing that we filled that void in her heart for her companion again. Growing up she did so much for me and I was so happy I got to give her the feeling of joy and happiness back.