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December 26, 2016

Ep.950: Are You Dreaming of the Right Christmas?

The gifts we receive from those who surrounded Jesus' birth

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What about the gift of trust?

What role will Mary's gift play? How can we pay it forward?

What can be added to hope to make it more powerful?

What can we possiblity give in return?

Theme Scripture: Matthew 10:7-8

Christmas has come - the hustle and the bustle, the lights, the music, the trees, the ornaments and the garland.  Christmas has come – Santa and reindeer and elves and Frosty and movies and presents and gift wrap and cards.  Christmas has come – whether you feel you can say “Merry Christmas” or just “Happy Holidays,” we are wishing well to those around us, for it is the season of good cheer and smiles.  Christmas has come – family and dinner and cakes and pies and cookies and giving and receiving and football and dressing in new clothes.  Yes, Christmas has come.  It has certainly made its indelible mark on us yet again….  You know Christ has come – the prophecies said that he would and God’s plan said it was time.  Christ has come – he was born to live so that he could die and redeem all of humanity.  Christ has come – his gift was simple, yet it was the greatest and most powerful gift that could ever, that would ever be given to this world.  Christ has come – and as a result, all of the human race has the opportunity for eternal life.  Christ has come – has he made his indelible mark on you?

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Even though the Bible technically doesn’t tell us to celebrate the birth of Jesus, we enjoy doing it because of the world-changing chain of events his birth brought.  The thing that doesn’t often occur to us is the amazing impact his birth would have on those adults who were on the scene at the time of his birth.  You know – or you may not know – people like Elizabeth and Zacharias who were the parents of John the Baptist.  Remember, John would play a pivotal role in history as he introduced Jesus to the world thirty years after his birth.  We don’t often stop to consider the personal stories  of John’s parents because, well, because we just want to get to the part about there being no room in the inn, the stable, the manger, the star and the baby Jesus.

There were others who played significant roles in setting up the birth of Jesus.  Think about Joseph and Mary and the incredible faith they both would have had to have as Mary became pregnant by miraculous means – and before they were married no less.  Think about the shepherds. These guys were kinda low on the grid of society and yet they were given an angelic announcement of Jesus’ birth and what it would mean.  All of these individuals were given very special gifts as part of their personal experiences and the roles they fulfilled that surrounded Jesus’ birth.

Gifts.  It turns out the gifts these chosen people were given make for a pretty inspirational story about the birth of Jesus, and it’s a story that you probably haven’t heard before.  What makes it even better is their gifts are also available to us and we can pass them on as well.  Check out our December 26, 2016 podcast, “Are You Dreaming of the Right Christmas?” and see what these gifts are for yourself.  And by the way – Merry Christmas!


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