Archives for category: Christmas Countdown

Porridge

 

The story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a classic, childhood fairytale.  In summary, Goldilocks stumbles into the house of the three bears.  She sits in their chairs, eats from their bowls of porridge and eventually falls asleep in one of their beds.  When Goldilocks ate from the first bowl of porridge, it was too hot.  The second was too cold, but the final bowl was just right.

 

When we think about the Christmas story, Goldilocks and the Three Bears is probably the last thing that comes to our minds.  Yet, for me, the irony of the correlations between the two stories made me chuckle.  In Luke 1 of the Bible, we read about the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth.  Both were up in age.  Both were descendants of the Aaron the priest.  The Bible said that both were righteous in God’s eyes.   However, in the eyes of man, the were barren and disgraceful, for they were an old, married couple with no children.

 

A few months later, in another town, a young girl named Mary would have a dilemma of her own.  Mary was young, unwedded and pregnant.  According to theologians, at the time of Mary’s pregnancy, she would have been between 12 to 15 years old.  By modern day accounts she was too young.

 

One woman was disqualified because she was too old.  The other was disqualified because she was too young.  The only thing in both of these stories that seemed to be just right was God’s timing.

 

The angel, Gabriel, had informed Zechariah that Elizabeth would give birth to a son.  Six months later, Gabriel gave the same news to Mary.  Two women.  One angel.  Same story.

 

According to ancient prophesy, a Messiah would be born, and he would be preceded by a messenger.   When Gabriel visited Zechariah, Gabriel told Zechariah that Elizabeth would give birth to the messenger, and they should name him John.  Gabriel told Mary that she would give birth to the Messiah, and she should name him Jesus.  Two great women—connected by God’s divine prophesy.

 

When Elizabeth became pregnant she was past child-bearing age.  Some texts hypothesize that Elizabeth was beyond her forties.  Therefore, at the very least, she would have been at least 30 years Mary’s senior.  That becomes a very important fact in God’s divine plan.  God had already preordained Zechariah and Elizabeth to be John the Baptist’s parents.  He has also pre-ordained John the Baptist to be Jesus’ predecessor.  So, here is God’s holy paradox! Had Elizabeth become pregnant in her late teens or early twenties, which would have been customary for women at that time, Mary would not even have been born.  On the contrary, Mary’s youth prevented Elizabeth from being stretched beyond the limits of her faith.  Perhaps, had Mary conceived a few years later, Elizabeth might have lost all hope.  Additionally, Mary would have been married by then, and there would have been no virgin birth.  Two women, one too young and one too old, proved to be just right in God’s plans.

 

1 Corinthians 2:26-29 says, “26Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God,” (NLT).

 

The world may have disqualified you because of your age, race, gender or financial status.  However, God has a plan for you.  His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.  Remember, God always has a bigger purpose in mind.

 

Photo credit:

Isaac Andres

Tonight, I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine. We discussed the topic of pride, a simple, yet powerful word.
Pride is one of those things that sneaks up on us. Because it takes on so many faces, it is often difficult to recognize.  Tonight, I don’t want to get into a long, lengthy discussion on pride, but I do want to share two points that God laid on my heart.
The first revelation was, when God said that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:9-10), He did not exclude the Christians. There is a tendency for us as Christians to think that the verse is applied solely in the context of salvation. Yet, we fail to apply it to our daily walk. Some of us, mistakenly believe that all we have to do is profess Christ’s Lordship. Such thinking is so far from the truth.  It is not enough to simply confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord of lords and King of kings. We also have to bow our knees. This require humility.  Part of this humility is realizing that we were made by God and for HIS purpose. It’s just that simple. While He does grant the desires of our hearts, our existence is not about making our flesh comfortable. It’s about serving Him. I think the problem with a lot of us, Christians and non-Christians alike, is that we miss one crucial fact. We BELONG to God. He OWNS us. We are His POSSESSIONS. We are HIS.  The truth is, if He wanted us to bark at the moon from now until the end of time, He would be perfectly within His right. Again, we BELONG to Him. We should know that even though His graciousness and mercy won’t allow Him to do so, He still has that right. Sometimes, our desire for self-expression and autonomy usurps that knowledge.
My second revelation is this: We should be cognizant of the fact that our insecurity and need for validation can sometimes precipitate our pride. When you and I become people pleasers, we place ourselves in positions where we constantly need to be validated by others. Here is where pride comes it. When we ask others to stroke our egos, we can sometimes get caught up in our own hype. I am not saying that we should not embrace the occasional compliment. I am simply saying that constantly seeking approval could be fertile ground for pride.
That’s it. That was my thought for the night.
Sidebar:
Two more weeks until Christmas!!! Tonight I want to say that I am most grateful for grace.

25

Wow! How quickly did we burn through the days of 2013? For many of us, January 1, 2013 is but a distant memory. So many of us started 2013 with a laundry list of goals and aspiration. For some, our enthusiasm and exuberance dwindled as the days faded. Now, with only 31 days left to the conclusion of the 2013, it’s so easy to give up on those 2013 dreams if they have not yet materialized. However, keep this in mind. The year is not over yet. In one instance, Jesus caused a fig tree to wither; He calmed a raging sea and He mended the skin of a leper. If he did that in one instance, imagine what He could do in 31 days! As we draw near to Christmas, instead of acknowledging all the couldas, wouldas, shouldas; let’s spend the next 25 days giving thanks for all the things that are going right. Over the next 25 days, I would us to embark on a 25-day thanksgiving journey. Each day, I will challenge you to list the one thing that you most grateful for in 2013. Here goes:

25-Day Thanksgiving Christmas Countdown
Day 25: Today I am most thankful for DISAPPOINTMENTS!