There are no pretenses in a stable.
Décor is not an issue. Titles do not move you to the front of the line. A resume is not needed. There is no dress code. If you can stand the aroma, you are in.
The Christmas story brings us to the most basic of enclosures—the home of the household animals. Not a place you would choose to spend unlimited time. Not the place where you would find a newborn baby. And certainly not the birthing place for a king!
God is intentional in His planning for the coming of His Son. Since pride is the downfall of men and angels, God sent a clear message that humility is the virtue He exalts. A trip to the stable brings us all to the same level.
Just because the scene is of a lowly nature doesn’t mean we bring shabby gifts. He deserves the best we have to offer: our time, our talent, our treasure, our devotion. And even that dims when we compare it to the Gift in the manger.
As Christmas approaches, let’s lay aside the things that divide us and come to the stable with open hearts and minds. We may find that the “smell” is not in the stable, but in us.
I will give my best to the Savior in His mission of reaching and rescuing all levels of lost mankind.
In a world corrupted by so many hateful elements, one thing is pure: the sound of a child’s voice singing “Happy Birthday, Jesus.”
When children sing, they have no agenda. They are reveling in the rhythm and flow of the song. Maybe they fall short of a high note or miss a musical nuance. It doesn’t matter. The song is coming from the heart, with no filters. And when that song is directed to the Savior, it resonates with the power of its simplicity and sincerity. It echoes the song of the angels.
As adults, we can lose the honesty that rings in the voice of children. The true song of Christmas can be lost in the muddle of our busy lives. Much of the Christmas music we hear holds no spiritual value. It doesn’t emanate from hearts of worship. But when a child ends a song with the words, “Jesus, I love You,” heaven takes notice. The heart of the Savior is touched.
Becoming like little children in our love for Jesus is a goal worth attaining. There is hidden power in our song of adoration. As nations rage and evil seems to prevail, a simple song may be the instrument to melt hard hearts and turn them heavenward. Make time this Christmas to sing your personal love song to the king in the manger.
I will sing my own song of love and commitment to Jesus this week.
By invitation only.”
When you see those words, know it’s one of those exclusive social media pages set up for a particular group. It may be for family members only, or for those with a certain religious or political viewpoint. It is designed to be a place where you can share personal information without fear of disclosure or reprisal.
The birth of God’s Son was indeed an exclusive event. Those who came to the manger came by special invitation. The shepherds were invited by a chorus of angels. The wise men were invited by a beckoning star. In spite of the strange mixture of guests, the stable took on the aura of a black tie dinner. No party crashers allowed!
Since that amazing night, the list of invitees has expanded to include “whosoever will” — ordinary people like you and me. Jesus himself extends the invitation: “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened….” We are all invited into this exclusive group: the family of God. Here we find peace, acceptance and forgiveness.
There’s a difference between an invitation and a summons. A summons is a legal demand. An invitation is an open door with a RSVP attached. God waits for a response.
I will accept God’s invitation to be part of His family, and will extend that invitation to others.
Christmas lights are up! Homes and lawns have been decorated in preparation for the holiday season. Some are elaborate and some are simple. But one thing is certain: the lights have nothing to offer until someone touches the switch that sends a surge of power through the string of bulbs. That simple, quiet action sends a blaze of color and illumination through the darkness, sometimes accompanied by music, and transforming the ordinary into something spectacular.
Christmas lights give us a vivid example of what happened in Bethlehem when Jesus was born. The Christmas story is not only a display of God’s love; it is also the story of how God’s power quietly invaded the earth and changed everything.
Mary and Joseph were just ordinary people — until the surge of God’s power touched their lives. Then Mary became the bearer of God’s Son and Joseph became His guardian. In quiet moments, God spoke to each of them. Their responses to His directives “threw the switch” that would bring light and life into the whole world.
How amazing that little acts of obedience can bring such dramatic results! When we cooperate with God, miracles happen. Our faith releases His power. He lights up our lives, and we light up the world!
I will allow God to “light up my life” this week by doing the little things I know I should do for Him.