27 12 2012

Christmas Day may be over- but the celebration of Jesus should never end! Christmas itself was just the beginning and was never meant to be the final destination! To know God in an up close and personal way is the key to understanding what this eternal life is really all about! Did you take the time this December to really sit at God’s banqueting table? Did you look to the Lord’s menu for satisfaction rather than falling into the trap of thinking a season could pull of what only a Savior was meant to accomplish?

Let’s quickly go back to the original tale of long ago but one that has still has lots to say to all of us today! We are told in the Gospel of Luke that he Shepherds had heard from heavenly messengers that a new king had been born in Bethlehem.  They would find this holy visitor birthed in a parking garage because that is basically what a stable literally was. Jesus would be lying in a bed of straw where the animals ate! The common term of the day was referred to as a “manger.”  Luke for some reason mentions the manger 3 times!

In Luke 2:7- we’re told that the child was laid in a manger! In Luke 2:12- the angel tells the shepherds that they would find the babe wrapped in bands of cloths and lying in a manger! In Luke 2:16- the shepherds went and did find the child lying in a manger- just like they had been told! The manger was not only a sign to the shepherds but it is still an essential marker for all of us also. The manger or feeding trough is not just a sign of the humility of Jesus!  A feeding trough is where God’s creatures come to eat! Maybe today is your day to marvel over the magnificent mystery of the manger! We can find our greatest source of life on God’s menu for us! Bethlehem was known to all in biblical times as “The House of Bread.” Deuteronomy 8:3 reminds us that “Man does not live by bakery bread alone!” We need something even more nutritious and nurturing to our starving souls!

In Isaiah 55:2- the Prophet asked- “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread? And why do you labor for that which does not satisfy?” Human nature is naturally bent towards spending money and working hard to try to obtain that which is just out of our normal reach! We strive to arrive at a finish line that lies just beyond our own ability to run this race with only the fuel that is stored within our physical means!

Jesus said in John 6:35- “I am the Bread of Life and whoever comes to me will never be hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty!” At the Last Supper- Jesus took the bread and said in Luke 22:19- “This is my Body which is given freely for you!” So the essential Bread of Life was served to all of us in a humble feeding trough laid out in the midst of The House of Bread! And God continues to invite all of His creation to come and dine and know what is like to have your souls satisfied!

What we really hunger for tonight will never be found under the tree in the morning. We yearn for meaning- for joy- for purpose- for a future- and for hope in the midst of bad news and despair! We desperately desire to know that we can begin anew and have our regret erased!  We are begging for a love that won’t ever let us go- and for life to still go on in the face of death! And the adventure all started with The Shepherds!  In the eyes of others they were too low to matter in high life!  They were bums and uneducated- smelly- poorly dressed- dregs of society!  They didn’t even own their own land and created tension by allowing their sheep to graze where they were not welcome! To grab the gist of this- imagine your neighbors regularly turning their dogs loose in your yard! These sheep people were tolerated but not celebrated! At least not esteemed by other men that is! But God invites them to His inaugural all you can eat feast first! How did those lowly guys respond? Just like they were always top shelf!

The Shepherds came without delay and found God on the menu is a feeding trough!  Nobody became somebody! Losers became winners!  The forgotten were suddenly remembered! And we must be willing to humble ourselves and still kneel down daily at the stable and allow God’s nurture to renew our nature! And in our haste- we must not waste in the morning- the magic of midnight! The Shepherds heard- they went and saw with their own eyes- and then they became God’s virgin messengers- telling others! This is important! 

We too hear what God says and we experience Jesus for ourselves and we need to then go out and tell others.  Shout it to the mountains and scream it to the nations that our God still moves his mighty hand- because he still can! Just because Christmas Day is over doesn’t mean that God is done making his moves on you!  How will you allow God to move his mighty hand in you today?  How will you allow God to move his mighty hand through you?  Hands down- with our hands up- God’s hand longs to feed our hearts with the hope we need to live for not just a holiday but all those holy days still to come!











One response

31 12 2012

God still moves his mighty hand -because he still can! Move in me I pray Lord Jesus. Amen

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