Peace family, win a free birthday party from Peace 107 and Powersports!
Your child will love all of the fun and excitement, and Powersports puts it all together for a birthday memory you and your child won’t forget!
Must be 18 or older to enter.
Party is for kids between 3 and 10 years old.
Only one entry per person.
To avoid confusion, please enter ONLY for yourself.
Multiple entries will be disqualified.
To find out more about Powersports, CLICK HERE.
Your birthday party is good for up to 14 children ($300 value.) The party is for children between 3 and 10 years of age. Parties are held on Friday nights from 8:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., and are scheduled on an availability basis only. For more information, call Powersports at 979-776-0018.
Winners will be announced weekly on Peace 107!
Peace family, when was the last time that you were overwhelmed with gratitude? When was the last time that you allowed yourself to just bask in the praise of God?
As I enter a new season in my life with my time at Peace 107 drawing to a close, I am overwhelmed by the goodness of God. He has brought me through so many things, he has taught me so much, and his faithfulness has endured even through times that I felt abandoned. He gives me hope for the future, and the harder that my life has been, the more I have seen real miracles that only He could have coordinated.
Thankfulness can really be a struggle sometimes. Sometimes, we can become so focused on what we don’t have, what we feel is owed to us, what we’ve lost, or what others have that we don’t have, that we make ourselves incapable of enjoying that which we really do have. A heart of gratitude and worship frees us and gives us a better perspective. It strengthens us to enjoy what God has done for us. It takes us out of a grasping panic, and frees us to be more generous with our time, talents, and resources.
The world can also fight against our thankfulness. Even well-meaning friends and family might continually point out to us the things that are missing from our lives: a spouse, children, a better job, health, and so on. For several years, I’ve had a piece of paper that I taped up next to my desk on which I wrote, “BELONGING TO CHRIST IS ENOUGH FOR ME,” and I would look to that piece of paper whenever I felt troubled by what I don’t have. Peace family, belonging to Christ is enough for you, too! God really is all that we ultimately need. Really!
If you are like me, maybe you get distracted in a big worship service sometimes. Why not do your own worship service? Turn off your phone, pull out your Bible and journal, turn on some praise music, and worship God, just you and him, in the privacy of your own house. If you can’t get time alone, invite your loved ones to join in!
Let’s thank God on paper and out loud for thing after thing that he has done and given, and tell our friends and family about his goodness. Give him credit where it is due. It seems like the more that I thank him for what he has done, the more I realize that I have to thank him for. It’s a beautiful, exciting cycle!
Peace family, God loves you more than we have the capacity to understand. He wanted you as his friend and family member, and he sacrificed of himself so that you could have those relationships with him. It’s a gift of eternal significance, and he blesses us in all kinds of ways, every day, that we never notice. Let’s not take that lightly. Let’s enter a season of thankfulness and joy and declare his goodness, love, and truth to everyone we meet. In that way, we will truly make a difference in the world! God bless you, now and always, Peace family!
Peace family, are we letting our lives reflect the truth and love that God values? Sometimes, humor can be a tricky area.
A friend and I recently shared some frustrations about an atmosphere of sarcastic, mocking humor in a certain circle of our mutual friends.
As a society, we tend to laugh when people do stupid things that injure or punish them for their stupid actions. Sometimes, we even laugh at people who don’t know God and are therefore upset or crying over things that are not valuable because their perspective is off. Spend a few minutes on Youtube, or google the Darwin awards, and you will see that this is true!
However, as believers in Christ, we should never take joy and pleasure from the misery, the pain, or the foolishness of the lost. That is absolutely not the heart of God. God hates death. He hates cruelty. He hates false perspective and the belief of lies. He hates pain and misery.
Before we share something with others, whether in person or on social media, let’s be disciplined to ask ourselves: Is it kind? Is it truthful? I’m not saying that we should cut all silliness out of our lives, but keeping love and truth in our humor is important to consider.
The Bible says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8) Let’s allow God and his truth to purify the way that we experience and describe the world.
Let’s reflect the truth and love of God in our lives in everything, even in where we find our humor.
Peace family, do you struggle with worrying as much as I do?
One of my friends recently posted this on her Facebook status: “Every time you’re tempted to worry, turn it around. Thank God that he’s taking care of that situation.” It really encouraged me, and I hope it will encourage you, too!
This was a great reminder to me that even when I don’t see God moving, working or healing, he is there, doing good things. Even if the way that he takes care of something isn’t the way that I think it should be taken care of, I can still trust him that he is good, that he has a good plan, and that he knows better than I do.
What are the things that we usually worry about? Problems that have happened, the unknown in the future, bad possibilities, and more.
Peace family, we must remember that what God has done for us is more powerful than anything that anyone (including ourselves) has done against us.
We don’t have to be held back by lies or sin that we have done, or that have been spoken over or done to us. Our destiny is not defined by our failures, or by the ways that we have been harmed. We do not need to worry.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” However, I can often end up worrying even in the middle of my prayers. I am learning how to not just thank him for all of the things that I’m thankful for, but to specifically thank him that he is working where I don’t see it. It is better for me to remember that I can thank him, and choose to believe that he is moving, and that he is more powerful and wise than I sometimes give him credit of being.
If you find that you are worrying today, take some time to thank God for who he is and what he has done. Thank him for what he is doing right now, even what you cannot see, and for what he will do! You can trust that he is taking care of your situation.
Peace Family, have you ever felt like all that you truly had left, was God?
After flying back to Texas from Germany on July 25th, I was pretty dizzy. I thought I was just extremely tired, but the dizziness didn’t go away, and in fact, it progressively got worse. It was so bad by last week, that I spent the weekend almost continually in my bed, drifting in and out of sleep. I was so dizzy that I almost couldn’t do anything but lie down with my eyes closed, and even then, I still felt like my eyeballs were spinning around inside of my head. I was not in any pain, but I was completely emotionally drained, I was physically incapacitated, and I was so dizzy that I had a difficult time stringing thoughts together. All that was left was the presence of God, and the darkness behind my eyelids.
Have you ever reached such a debilitating state?
After three days of almost complete helplessness, a friend drove me to my doctor, where I got some medication and learned that my inner ear, behind my eardrum, was full of fluid. By that evening, I started to feel a little better, but the whole experience was pretty strange. The fact that I got broken down to my core, helped me to gain some perspective that I hadn’t had before for some difficult situations that I had been struggling with.
Peace family, it’s funny sometimes how God chooses to answer our prayers. After feeling a little better, I remembered the Bible verse that says that God works all things together for the good of those who love him, who are called according to his purposes (Romans 8:28), and I recalled that right before I got so ill, I was passionately praying (pleading, really) that God would give me more direction for my life. I realized that maybe him allowing me to become so debilitated, was his way of giving me more direction. That’s not my preferred way of getting direction, but it worked.
Are there any areas where you are suffering right now? Are there any areas that are bad, that God might be redeeming and using for good? I want to encourage you to remember that God is with you in your darkness, even the most desolate darkness, even if no one else is, and I also want to encourage you to look for him and how he is working. When things are very bleak, and you are right in the middle of things, it can sometimes be impossible to see him. Just keep holding on. My prayer for you today, is that God would bring you through, and show you, even if it’s afterwards, the ways that He stood by you, and continues to stand with you.
Peace family, if someone you love needs to hear how to have a friendship with God, or you’d like to know for yourself, a good way to remember is A, B, C:
A- Accept that we are all sinners. This is easy to see when we think about all of the bad things in the world. There’s nothing we can do to make up for the ways that we have sinned against God, against others, and broken his rules. We often know deep in our hearts that we are missing something, and we try to fill that hole. We are missing a friendship with God, but none of us is good enough to restore a relationship with God, who is perfect, on our own. The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) However, God loves us so much, that he wanted to be in a friendship with us, even though we are sinful.
B- Believe that God provided Jesus as a sacrifice, as a payment, for your sins. Jesus was God in human form, and he lived a perfect life in which he was tempted in all the same ways that we are, but he never sinned. He never lied, cheated, or stole, or hated anyone. He was killed on the cross, which is what we deserved, but God raised him from the dead, proving that everything that he said was true. The Bible says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17) No matter your age, your race, your gender, the country you live in, or your past, God wants a friendship with you!
C- Choose to invite Jesus in as the ruler of your life. Talk to him (that’s what prayer is) and tell him that you give your life over to him. From now on, you want to live the way that God asks you to live, and trust that He loves you, that he has paid for all your wrong doing, and that he has a place for you in Heaven with him. It’s as simple as that, but it makes an eternal difference! The Bible says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)
No one is ever too far gone. Even if you feel like you’ve done too many bad things, the fact is, we’ve all sinned too much. We all have the same need to have Jesus as our substitute. God’s gift of forgiveness to us through Jesus is truly amazing! This includes if you have given your life to Jesus before, but gotten tied up in sin. Come to him as you are and let him sort you out. Don’t feel like you need to be perfect before you can give your life to God. Understand that even as a Christian, you will not suddenly be perfect, and you will keep on sinning, even though we wish we wouldn’t.
Continue to grow with God. Tell other believers of Jesus about the choice that you’ve made. Choose a church to spend time with (if you aren’t sure where to start, look at the Peace 107 community calendar and see the churches that have community events and special services where you can make some friends.) Read the Bible so that you know what God wants. Talk to him (pray), and be baptized as a public declaration of your commitment to Christ! Be encouraged that God puts his Holy Spirit inside of you and that he will never abandon you. In the Bible, God says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13.) Jesus also says that we, his “sheep” know his voice, so you can have reassurance that he will guide you. Welcome to the family!
Peace Family, do you need freedom from jealousy and envy? I was recently inspired by my friend LaShunda Mitchell of Grind4God Ministries. She wasn’t speaking to me when she said, “jealousy ends where love begins,” but it was absolutely what I needed to hear.
We all have people whom we envy, or life situations that others seem to be enjoying that we aren’t. We all see a friend or family member on Facebook, or at a family gathering, and wish that we were as well-loved as him, as attractive as her, as successful as him, as happily married with children as her, on the vacation where he is… and the list goes on.
What are some ways that we can specifically love those people, until we are not feeling those ugly pangs of envy anymore? Perhaps we need to start praying for them. Perhaps there is a way that we can start serving them. Maybe we need to look at their lives with compassion, and instead of believing the devil’s lie that they have everything unfairly given to them, we need to actively bless them and lift them up.
No one’s life is perfect, and we will never know the ways that those whom we envy are hurting or struggling. However, when we despise people in our hearts because of the relationships, material possessions, appearances, and successes that they have, we not only are being hateful and conceited by lifting ourselves above that person (it boils down to us believing that we deserve that thing more than they do), but we are also being ungrateful for the blessings that God has given us.
My challenge to you today is to ask 1) what are some of the amazing blessings that God has given me?, and 2) what can I do today to start regarding that person (or those people) I envy with love instead of contempt? Don’t just think about it. Take steps to do it, and you will find that there is so much more freedom when we try to have God’s perspective, and stop looking down on others who have things that we want.
Peace Family, haven’t we all sometimes wished for a “reset” button in our lives? Is it ever easier to think of Christ as a victor over the grave, than of your own struggles?
As we step into a fresh, new spring having celebrated the fact that Christ is alive, risen from the dead, and a conqueror over death, we should be encouraged to remember that he is a conqueror in our own lives, as well! Not only did Jesus have victory over sin and death in his own personal life, but he bequeathed his Holy Spirit to us. We are equipped to obey him, and find freedom from our own sins. Romans 8 says that we are “more than conquerors” through Christ who loved us. He is not only the most powerful being in the universe, but he also LOVES us.
Our God is a God of redemption, redeeming lives, mistakes, and more. The Bible says that in Christ, we are a new creation. The old is gone, behold! The new has come. If you have dry places in your life, do not give up hope. Believe that Christ can do a miracle in you!
Likewise, have you ever thought about the fact that Easter/Resurrection Sunday is on a Sunday? Jesus told us he came to fulfill the law, not to abolish it, and his resurrection ushered in a whole new era of hope for creation. I think it’s interesting that God picked the first day of the week- the same day that he started Creation- for the redemption of all creation, almost like pressing a “reset” button.
Peace family, even though Lent and Easter are over, let’s take some time this week to consider the areas of our lives that we wish we could “reset”… and realize that Christ has reset human history. he is the ultimate champion, and nothing is too terrible for him to change it for good. Let’s submit those things to God, as an offering to him, and be open to letting him grow and change us. He will absolutely redeem our lives, if we let him!
Peace Family, what does God owe us?
A good friend was recently talking with me about the Bible’s teachings regarding a specific sin. She said that kosher laws were practical for their time period, because God was protecting his people through the restrictions (for example, the prohibition of eating pork, which would have been difficult to cook correctly to remove parasites at that time period, would have kept the Israelites healthy) but on the other hand, she argued that the specific sin she was addressing doesn’t harm anyone, including the person committing the sin. Because she does not see a practical reason for God to forbid it, she judges that it could not be a sin, that we are misreading the Bible, that when God forbade it several times in the Bible, it could not really be applicable because other rules are not applicable (such as kosher law), and he was not as explicit as she feels that he should have been.
Peace family, do you ever struggle with these kinds of issues? Why does God just want to ruin our happiness or make us miss out on good things? Because he is good, shouldn’t he want us to do whatever we think will make us happy? Does God have the right to give us rules for which we don’t see any practical reasons?
Peace family, those beliefs show a false perspective of God, his character, and what goodness truly is. Likewise, as far as rules go, I have found that pretty much all of God’s rules are designed to draw us closer to him, or to protect us from something bad. Peace family, this is what it boils down to: does God owe us an explanation? Absolutely not! He’s God, and we are not.
I always prefer an explanation, and I prefer to see reasons why I might have to suffer or experience pain, but with some things in life, we will never get an explanation. Everyone has painful things in their lives that they don’t understand. We have to be able to trust in the goodness of God, and his love and care for us, despite how things look or feel. If I wake up tomorrow, and I had a stroke or an aneurysm during the night that leaves me paralyzed for the rest of my life, I won’t enjoy it, but God is still God. He created the universe, and he owes me no explanation.
What does God owe us? Nothing.
Some of these are hard to swallow, but they are still true: God does not owe us financial stability. He does not owe us an easy life. He does not owe us a faithful spouse, even if we have kept ourselves pure. He does not owe us Christian children, even if we did our best to raise them in a way that honors him. He does not owe us a good relationship with our parents, siblings, or other family members. He does not owe us good health, or healthiness in our families. He does not owe us children at all, or for us to have long lives. He does not owe us an enthralling, emotional spiritual experience, or to really experience falling in love.
God does love to bless us, but he doesn’t owe us any of these things. Is there anything that you have been believing (even if unintentionally,) that God owes you?
Peace family, let’s not become ungrateful and distrustful of God. It is the devil who tells us that God owes us something, including answers, when in fact, we owe God everything. He has given us every good thing, and we can thank him for it. We owe him our loyalty, our trust, our thankfulness, our praise, our love, our obedience, our finances, our talents, our futures, and more. How often do we really give him all that he deserves?
Let’s you and me both examine our hearts today, allow them to be softened, and consider what areas and questions we need to hand over to God. As we approach Easter, let’s really think about all that our amazing God has really done for us.
Peace Family, does God deserve the best of us?
The immediate answer is, “Yes, of course,” but we often don’t live that way. The temptation is to think to ourselves, “Haven’t I given enough of my time, talents, and resources to God? Hasn’t he asked enough of us? Don’t I have the right to keep this little thing to myself?” That’s dangerous thinking.
Peace Family, God has given us everything. The Bible says that every good and perfect gift comes from Him. Let’s offer our best to God. Let’s offer to him the things that we hold most dear to our hearts- our careers, our marriages, our finances, our futures, our free time, and everything else that we deeply value. He is deserving of it. We can never give too much to God.
If we’ve been living with selfish ambition, let’s relinquish it over to Him. It might be scary, but something important to remember is that he is already in control, and just because we offer something to God does not mean that he wants us to be miserable or wear ourselves out. He is a good father, not a wicked father, and he will not give us a snake or a stone when we ask for bread. Sometimes he will ask us to give something up that we treasure. Sometimes though, he will give that thing back to us.
What do you cherish in your life? What can you give and dedicate to Him today? Let’s you and me both make a fresh decision to give God our best. He is absolutely worthy of it.
Peace family, grieving can be especially painful during the holidays. Gary Roe, chaplain with Hospice Brazos Valley, is going to be checking in with us for the next several weeks, and he has some tips for healing and making it through the holidays.
Gary says Christmas can be a great time of year, but it can also be a tough time of year, especially for those who have lost a loved one in the last couple of years, or if they’ve lost a loved one over the holidays, it doesn’t seem to matter how many years go by; the holidays are tough!
We’ve talked a little bit about important things like, if you’ve lost a loved one, please, give yourself permission to grieve over the holidays. It’s okay to be sad. We’ve talked about lowering our expectations a little bit, knowing that we’re very conscious of who’s missing, and that this holiday will be different from any other. Being kind to ourselves and patient with ourselves is really important. We talked about getting around people who are helpful to you right now, and limiting your exposure to those who aren’t or maybe are judging or critical, because that certainly doesn’t help us when we’re grieving.
Today, we’re going to make a simple plan of how to remember and honor your loved one over the holidays, to actually, intentionally include them in your Christmas celebration. You won’t be able to keep them out; you’re thinking about who’s absent, and you might even be thinking about them ALL of the time. Here are two quick ways that you can include them in your holiday. First of all, speak their name. Speak it out loud, and speak it often. Let yourself hear their name, because there’s something very powerful about a person’s name. Speak their name
Second, tell their stories. Talk about them to anyone who will listen. Share, share, and share some more. Yes, this will be emotional, and yes, you will probably cry, but it will also be good, because you are expressing your grief, which is also expressing your love. Speak their name, and tell their story.
If you aren’t grieving this Christmas, please, be aware that the person next to you might be. Someone might look fine on the outside, but inside, they are heartbroken or crushed. Be ready to be merciful, kind and compassionate. Be ready to listen, and if you’re willing, simply ask them, “What do you miss? Would you tell me about them?” and then, listen.
If you’re grieving, remember that Jesus walks with you in your grief and pain. He knows all about it, and he “gets” it.
God bless you. He loves you so much. Merry Christmas.
You can find more details to help get through the holidays and get through them well by going to Gary Roe’s website, HERE, or copy and paste this link into your browser: https://www.garyroe.com/
Click below to listen to Gary chat with Peace 107’s Brian and Kat:
Peace family, Christmas is a time of joy, but I’ve had a lot of pain at and around Christmas from different events during the last several years. If you are struggling this Christmas, I want you to know that you are not alone.
As believers in Christ, we can still feel the deep joy that we have in knowing that God came to us, to live among us, to save us, and there are many additional fun things about the holidays, but that doesn’t make our pain completely go away. One year, I didn’t even have the heart to take my tree down until almost Valentine’s Day. I needed that visual “hug” to encourage me and to add cheer to my home. My heart didn’t feel so cheerful and I felt too weak to put away that added brightness, even after Christmas was over. There is a lot to be joyful about during Christmas, and even if we’re hurting, we can keep our eyes open for those small, beautiful things and embrace them.
One thing I like to do every year, is to buy a special Christmas ornament that is symbolically relevant to that year. One of the ornaments I bought this year, is an oyster, decorated with faux pearls and diamonds. It is a reminder to me that God can take all of my pain and make it into something beautiful (like pearls), and take all of my pressures to refine me into something amazing (like diamonds.) When I look back at the different symbolic ornaments on my tree, it is a reminder and a testament to God’s faithfulness to me over the years.
Christmas songs can also be a source of encouragement. Several years ago, the phrase “tidings of comfort and joy” from God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen comforted me a lot, and this year, the words that have really stood out to me are “joyful and triumphant” from O Come All Ye Faithful.
I know it’s hard to balance joy and grief many times, and we shouldn’t feel like we have to be jolly when that’s not how we feel. But this scripture touched me, and I thought hopefully it might touch you, too, ““Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”-Nehemiah 8:10
It encourages me to remember that it’s not my own joy, but the joy of the Lord, that I can fall back on for my strength this Christmas. Unlike mine, his joy is limitless and pure. I can still enjoy good food, and be generous to the poor. I can claim the strength to be found in God’s joy, in order to make it through.
Peace family, if you are in pain this year, don’t let it make you feel like a failure. We can use that extra softness of heart to honor God and draw closer to him.
As we look at bright stars in the cold, December sky, Christmas lights on homes and trees, and flickering candles and fireplaces, what better time of year is there to remember that Jesus is a light shining in the darkness? Let those lights remind you that he is a light in our dark world, and he will bring light and comfort to your personal darkness as well.
Peace family, there are so many things that make this time of year special, including Christmas books. What are your favorite Christmas books and stories?
A friend and I were recently discussing the kinds of stories that were read to us around Christmastime as children, and it reminded me of some stories that I haven’t remembered in years, such as The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. I remember the excitement and delight I had whenever my teacher would read that book to us, but I don’t even remember which teacher it was, or what grade I was in. It’s funny and interesting, with real heart, and I hope to read it to my own kids some day. My sister-in-law’s family always reads ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve. Of course, many families also read through Luke’s telling of the Christmas story on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
I love books in general, and naturally, I love Christmas books, too. I use them for decorating, and I look forward to pulling out my Christmas books each year. They are like old friends!
Besides reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, I’m also reading an advent devotional that I bought at First Baptist Bryan called A Christmas Letter From Paul, and The Case For Christmas, by Lee Strobel. If I finish those, I will pull out A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens! Other favorites include Coming Home For Christmas from Gooseberry Patch, The Jolly Christmas Postman, and several Christmas-specific cookbooks that I love to leaf through every year.
Peace family, Christmas is a season of joy and celebration, and so many stories reflect that. Many stories also are very clear about remembering that Jesus is the reason we celebrate. My favorite Christmas stories encourage me to be a more faithful, more loving, and more joyful person. Does your family have any favorite Christmas books? If you’d like to start a new tradition, here is a list of some of my favorite Christmas books. Happy reading!
The Essential Christmas Book by Alan MacDonald and Janet Stickley (Faith-focused and great for kids, it offers an explanation of many Christmas traditions around the world. It also has some recipes and kid-friendly craft ideas.)
The Jolly Christmas Postman by Allan and Janet Ahlberg (Great for kindergarten and first-grade children- a postman delivers Christmas letters to characters from fairy tales, and you get to read the mail!)
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson (One of my favorites of all time- my guess is that this is a 3rd grade or so reading level. A church Christmas pageant is radically transformed when the worst kids in town, who’ve never heard the Christmas story, show up and want to be a part of it.)
Coming Home For Christmas by Gooseberry Patch (One of my absolute favorite books, it is full of recipes, craft and gift ideas, and different contributors’ most heart-warming memories and stories from their favorite Christmases.)
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas Treasury by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (A collection of heart-warming, and sometimes tear-jerking, stories. Some of the stories might be too long for some children’s attention spans; this book is probably more encouraging for grown-ups.)
Silent Night: The Stories behind 40 Beloved Christmas Carols by Inc. Barbour Publishing (This short book shares the history behind many favorite Christmas songs.)
52 Little Lessons From It’s a Wonderful Life by Bob Welch (Encouragement and thoughts based off of parts of the famous movie.)
A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens (The classic story that encourages us to love others and keep the attitude of Christmas in our hearts.)
Peace family, one of the things that I love about Christmas, is the prevalence of nativity scenes. Although they all might look different, they carry the same beautiful message of encouragement.
I’ve seen the Holy Family imagined as all kinds of people: dark-skinned, blonde, Andean (complete with llamas in the stable), and even Thai. Growing up, my family had several South American nativities, and as my family was a fairly agricultural family, our main nativity included all kinds of animals (as collected by my mother) gathered around the Holy Family in the stable. Charming though it may be, I have my doubts that those animals were present at the actual birth of Christ; for example, ours is the only creche I’ve ever seen in which the shepherds have a Collie dog, or ducks and chickens by the manger, a barn owl in the rafters, and a large, red bullock (Limousine breed?) in the back. Ours also included the Magi, who actually probably were not simply three kings, and who actually probably did not arrive to give their gifts to Jesus until he was about two years old.
I know that political correctness has become a huge deal in the last ten years or more, but there’s something so beautiful about these creche scenes, even if they aren’t historically accurate.
The beauty of Christmas is this: God so loved the world, that he sent his son in the form of human flesh to make his dwelling among us, that we might see his glory. Was Jesus born in Israel, to Jewish parents, who likely were olive-skinned with dark hair? Yes. Is that the most important thing about a nativity scene? Absolutely not!
The beauty is that Jesus came for all of us, all people, of every nation. We often hear the name, “Emmanuel,” at this time of year, and it literally means, “God with us.”
No matter what Jesus looked like, he had eyes and ears to see and hear the suffering and needy, two hands to feed the hungry and heal the sick, and two legs to travel to those he loved, and climb the hill to the cross. He had lips to share the good news of God’s forgiveness and redemption for us, a temper that could be ignited in the face of injustice, and a heart that could be broken over our ignorance and shame. Like us, he hungered, thirsted, loved, laughed, bled and cried.
Peace family, one of my favorite Christmas songs is “Some Children See Him,” by James Taylor, and that’s what I think of when I see these culturally diverse nativity scenes; you can find a link to listen to it, here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s49gEmTlOTk&app=desktop
I hope it will encourage you!
When you see a nativity scene, no matter how simple or elaborate, let it bring joy to your heart. Remember that God embraces us, and we can embrace him, too.