12.21.2008

For Such a Time As This

I get it. For the first time, I get it.

He cares for ME.

HE cares for me.

He knew, that for me to get it, He would have to come down as a baby. A poor, innocent child.

The King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Prince of Peace, Emmanuel...

A baby. God with us.

And during this Advent season, this time of preparation, it is good to remember that this sweet little Child whom we celebrate, was born to die. To save us all. I don't say this to be a "downer" during a season of celebration. Rather, it is important to remember "the reason for the season".

Tonight at our Candlelight Christmas Celebration (we rent space in a school and are only able to use it on the weekends), one of the Pastors shared a story...

It was a few days before Christmas and a young mother decided to brave the mall and wrap up her Christmas shopping with her two young children. There were people everywhere, and the children seemed insistent on misbehaving.

Finally, the harried young mother was done with her shopping. The children were asleep in their double stroller, naughtiness had completely exhausted them. Shopping bags were hung all around the stroller, and the mother carefully wheeled the whole mass into the elevator.

The elevator crowds parted like the Red Sea. When she was finally positioned in the elevator, she breathed a sigh of relief, and to no one in particular, muttered aloud, "Whoever thought up this Christmas thing should be arrested and strung up!"

A moment passed, and then a quiet voice in the back of the elevator said, "Ma'am, I think that's been taken care of."

May we never forget the true "reason for the season".

12.15.2008

Give Presence

This year I've been trying to be more aware of the Advent Season. It always seems like those four weeks prior to Christmas just get lost in the countdown.

Advent is meant to be a time of preparation and waiting--not a solemn, sad kind of waiting, but waiting with anticipation, waiting for Him. Sort of a breathless eagerness. I always think of the song "Something's Coming" from West Side Story....

Could be! Who knows?
There's something due any day;
I will know right away,
Soon as it shows.

It may come cannonballing down through the sky,
Gleam in its eye,
Bright as a rose! Who knows?

It's only just out of reach,
Down the block, on a beach,
Under a tree.
I got a feeling there's a miracle due,
Gonna come true,
Coming to me!

Could it be? Yes, it could.
Something's coming, something good,
If I can wait!
Something's coming,
I don't know what it is,
But it is Gonna be great!

With a click, with a shock,
Phone'll jingle, door'll knock,
Open the latch!
Something's coming, don't know when, but it's soon;
Catch the moon, One-handed catch!

Around the corner,
Or whistling down the river,
Come on, deliver
To me!

Will it be?
Yes, it will.
Maybe just by holding still,
It'll be there!
Come on, something, come on in, don't be shy,
Meet a guy,
Pull up a chair!
The air is humming,
And something great is coming!

Who knows?
It's only just out of reach,
Down the block, on a beach,
Maybe tonight . . .

Wouldn't it be amazing if we Christians could, for the four weeks prior to Christmas, step back and prepare? I'm not talking about baking and cooking, shopping and cleaning, the frantic-ness that typically is associated with preparing for the holidays. I'm talking about praying and playing, smiling and giving.

You know, really living?

The folks over at The Advent Conspiracy think it would be amazing. Check out this video...

video

Dearest Lord Jesus,


In the remaining time of the Advent Season, help us live as the Advent Conspiracy says...
by worshiping fully,
spending less
giving more
and most importantly,
loving all.

And may we do these things with hopeful, expectant enthusiasm.

12.14.2008

Waiting and Preparing

The skies don't seem to be as dark as usual.
The stars seem brighter than they've been before.
And deep within I feel my soul is stirring
As though my hope
Has been restored.

The shepherds say they've heard the voice of angels
Confirming rumors spread across the land.
That a child protected well from Herod's anger
Is our Father's Son and the Son of Man.

Love is raining down on the world tonight.
There's a presence here, I can tell.
God is in us. God is for us. God is with us.
Emmanuel!

He's the Savior we have been praying for.
In our humble hearts He will dwell.
God is in us. God is for us. God is with us.
Emmanuel!

I feel compelled to tell all who will listen
That peace on Earth is not so out of reach.
If we can find grace and mercy and forgiveness
He has come to save.
He is all of these.

Love is raining down on the world tonight.
There's a presence here, I can tell.
God is in us. God is for us. God is with us.
Emmanuel!

He's the Savior we have been praying for.
In our humble hearts He will dwell.
God is in us. God is for us. God is with us.
Emmanuel!

God is in us. God is for us. God is with us.
Emmanuel!



--Wayne Kirkpatrick