June 17, 2024

The Church Mouse: Advent and Love

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” 
(Isaiah 9:6)

When I say Christmas what come to your mind? Is it presents, food, trees with lights, snow, family, shopping, music, parties, gifts, money, ringing the Salvation Army Bell? 
Now there is certainly nothing wrong with any of those ideas. But did you notice there is no mention of Church, God, prayer, scripture, or Jesus? 

I used to have a shirt that I wore during this time of year, it was a reminder to people of why we were doing all of this hustle & bustle, it said. ”Jesus is the Reason for the Season!” 

It seems like we often forget that without Jesus we would not be celebrating this holiday.  The government and media are trying their best to promote the removal Jesus from the whole idea of Christmas.  

However, here is the really upsetting thing, that we Christians have somehow managed to squeeze Jesus almost out of his own birthday celebration.  I overheard this conservation a few weeks ago. Some ladies were planning a church Christmas program and one of them said. 

“We cannot have food after the event.” I was very sure that it had to do with the pandemic. 
However, I was wrong. It was stated by one of the ladies that it would take too much time. So I was thinking it is because it was on a school night…wrong again. One of the ladies stated. 

”Most folks who were attending the program only wanted to spend about an hour to an hour and a half watching these kids perform.” 

The parents and other attendees just wanted to hurry to church and rush back home to watch TV!!”
Do we ever stop to think about what God did for us? Think about how his birth was and why he did it?

Here is what God did: He did the one thing we could understand. God himself came down and entered the human race: He became poor like us so that we would hear him saying, “I love you.”

We would have taken the Madison Avenue approach. We would have scheduled a press conference, put up billboards, called the TV stations, notified the newspapers, hired an agent, had a parade, called in the dignitaries, and sold tickets. We would have made a big deal so all the world could see the event. 

But that’s not God’s way!! Read the New Testament again. See for yourself. Instead of flash and splash! 

There is a frightened father, an exhausted mother, a cold, dirty stable in wintertime, stinky animals, swaddling clothes, smelly shepherds, a rough, crude cow-trough and some weird strangers. 
There He is, ignored by the mighty and powerful—the Deity in Diapers. 
Immanuel…God with us.

It is so simple that you know it must be true. 
Only God would have done it that way.

“Father, We thank you that you love us even when we were tired, mean, angry, and when we forget to include you in what we are doing. We are thankful that you loved us enough to come down to our level and live with us in order to show us how to live for you. Help us to recall that we are your people and we are to serve you by spreading your love and joy to all that we meet. Help us to remember the real reason you came to earth is LOVE. Amen.

the Church Mouse 
Work Hard! Pray harder!