Thursday, December 23, 2021

He Came to Shatter the Silent Night

Hey Friend,

I randomly dipped and draped the small twinkle lights on the mantle. When I reached the three hurricanes depicting the birth of Christ, I haphazardly pressed the glowing orbs down into each frosted tube. Then, I stood back, and with amazement, I excitedly noted where one particular tiny lamp landed -- right above the head of the baby Jesus!

Chance? Irony? Miraculous? 

To me there are many ironies regarding the birth of our Savior. 

John 1:1-3 states, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God."

Does it not confound you the Word came into the world with no words. The tiny infant couldn't speak a word. The only audible sound was His cry which came to shatter the silent night. The world had heard nothing, literally, from God for 400 years and here a shrill cry was our Savior's triumphant trumpet blast as He entered into our dark world.

How many times do I come to Jesus with no words? The only thing which bubbles up from within my broken soul are groans to which the Holy Spirit gives audible sound. Perhaps this is why Jesus hears and understands the cries of my heart so completely? He draws near when I cry.

This tiny babe probably kicked his infant feet, yet he could take no steps. Little did we know, one day, we would hear The Word behind us whispering,"This is the way. Walk in it." (Isaiah 30:21). How could the world have known, when it looked upon this tiny, helpless babe, He would walk on water to reach out His righteous right hand to keep us from sinking and drowning in our doubt and despair?

The angel came to Mary, and along with telling her not to be afraid, she was instructed to name the immaculate-conception-become-human, Jesus. How could we know one day all our knees would bow and He would be called the words Isaiah prophesied hundreds of years before His birth -- "And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)

Infant Babe

Wonderful Counselor

Mighty God

Everlasting Father

Prince of Peace

When the light of the world was born, Mary made a bed for Him in a manger -- a feeding trough for the lowest of the animals. How ironic the One who came that none would die, made his first bed in such a lowly state. 

Mary wrapped Him in swaddling cloths. Before a Jewish feast, the firstborn male lamb -- the one without blemish would be chosen to be the atoning sacrifice. In order to keep him still before his time of sacrifice, the shepherds would wrap the wriggling lamb in swaddling cloths to keep him calm until his blood would be spilled for the cleansing of mans' sins. 

Jesus was the helpless lamb -- swaddled in cloths until the time would come He'd lay down His life, on the rugged timbers, to clear our pathway to heaven once and for all. 

God could have left us to our own sinful devices, but He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him woud not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Jesus is Immanuel -- God with us. He came to shatter the silent night. He came so we would never again have to live in darkness. 

Do you know Him? Have you reached the end of yourself? Thank Jesus for the gift of grace He came to give you, personally. Ask Him to forgive your sins -- He will. Invite Him in to be Lord of your life. Lay down your life and pick up your cross and follow Him. Pray this now and then walk in freedom. If Jesus is already Lord of your life, invite Him in, anew, and embrace the beautiful ironies He brings to the world.

Be blessed this Christmas...we know how the story ends...take hope and be filled with joy and expectation...we're almost home...

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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Fear Shouts; Love Whispers

Hey Friend,

I'm not quite sure what has stymied my writing? Perhaps it's the world we're living in and I feel helpless to halt the direction in which it's spinning?

I hear the enemy's lies and I have to lean in hard to hear God's still small voice. You too?

I haven't written poetry in quite some time, but these words fell upon my heart in the pre-dawn hours.

I dedicate this to all who suffer from anxiety and depression which is made worse by the confusion of the days in which we live...

Fear Shouts; Love Whispers

Fear focuses on the shadows
Faith follows the light,
I strongly cling to self
When it's Jesus who wins each fight.

Desperation defines me
Fear robs me of my rest,
The shackles of anxiety bind me
Crippling my joy and happiness.

Terrifying tendrils of doubt
Put a stranglehold on my soul,
Lies tear gaps wide open
Mercy pours in and makes me whole.

Days of endless doubt
Make my anxious heart race,
Only trust allows me
To be caught up in your saving grace.

Confusion's caucophony rattles my brain
With anticipated catastrophe,
Lord, draw near I need you
I crave your love which frees.

What if waves toss and turn me
Til I'm sinking like a stone
His love so gently whispers,
"I'll never let you go!"

Yet Love's raging wildfire
Blazes paths of peace,
He leads me by still waters
Only His staff comforts me.

Finally, I realize
I am but the tiny lamb
Oh so gently held
In the arms of the great "I am."

Fear shouts; love whispers...

Let these words from Luke 21:25-31 be your comfort:

“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

29He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.

Take heart; we know how this story blessed...

ps. If you've enjoyed what you've read here today, might you want to subscribe to my regular posts (and nothing else)? Just go to the SUBSCRIBE box above to enter your contact info. Be sure to look for a confirmation email in your inbox. Thanks for reading...