The Christmas Story
Pastor Steve Carter's message at church this morning inspired this blog entry. You can view Steve's message "The Christmas Story" at: https://willowcreek.tv/
It's said that many have viewed God in the same way they view or think of their earthly father. For some of us that is a great picture, but for the majority, it's not a pretty site. It's a great reminder to Dads of how vital their role is in setting examples. For me, this great responsibility is a tough one because right away I think of my shortcomings: I have been strict with my son, demanding, critical, seeing his mistakes over the good he does, and so on.
Regardless of how your father was or is in modeling Christ love, God is so much better. If your Dad is your #1 hero, God is so much better. If your Dad isn't a Dad at all to you, God is your Dad, and He yearns to hear from you--to be in relationship with you. Whatever you didn't receive from your earthly father, you can receive from your Father in Heaven. Relationships are what matter to God most, and you aren't an exception.
The story of Christmas is God left Heaven for earth, why? Relationships! He knew that because of sin, without His son Jesus, a sin free sacrifice, we could never have a relationship with him. Here are a couple of reminders on that entrance:
1. A young girl, about a sophomore in high school, gave birth to the son of God. #EveryoneMatters
2. God chose to leave Heaven to enter the world in the form of a baby, born in a barn, surrounded by animals. #humility
Based on the two reminders, it's clearly evident that God's power and greatness works in "less than ideal" circumstances. Imagine, being Mary for a moment: a young virgin girl that has become pregnant, while living in a culture where not being pregnant by her husband meant shame, embarrassment, betrayal or even death--stoned for adultery. Can you imagine what your feelings may have been if you were Mary or Joseph? When we have fear and worry rising up to take over, we need to remember God is there, waiting in less than ideal circumstances. He still does miracles in those situations. After all, Jesus was born in less than ideal circumstances. Not only can God can do great in less than ideal circumstances, His power and greatness works best in the messy, the less than ideal. No matter where you are today, His grace goes out to those in the "less than ideal".
Christmas is for me, but not just for me, Christmas is for you, but not just for you. Christmas is for everyone, always!
The great message of Christmas is that Jesus chose to humble himself for you. Scripture tells us: "Christ himself was like God in everything. But he did not think that being equal with God was something to be used for his own benefit. But he gave up his place with God and made himself nothing. He was born as a man and became like a servant. And when he was living as a man, he humbled himself and was fully obedient to God, even when that caused his death—death on a cross. -Phil. 2:6-8
Chris & Jenn live in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. They were high school sweethearts, marrying in 2001. They are parents to one son, Luke (born November 1999) and two loving pups: Miley & Elsie.