Hello and merry Christmas to our readers! Our December is off to a busy start, so we’ll be reposting a few of our older Christmas-related entries this month. We might just surprise you with a new devotion or too, though!
“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”
–John 1-14 (NLT)
While there has been much opposition to the manger scene in recent times, there are also people who promote what I call “manger mania”. I firmly believe that if we are not careful, we may romanticize the baby Jesus too much, and lose sight of why our Lord came to earth in the first place.
Here is an example that may point to what I am talking about. According to an ABC News article, 1039 people participated in an event that broke the world record for the largest live nativity re-enactment on December 1, 2014 in Provo, Utah. Rock Canyon Park was turned into a scene from the Bible, and was filled with key characters in the Christmas story. They included Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the three kings, four shepherds, and over 1000 angels.
While it is great to reflect on the birth of Jesus, we must remember why He came to earth. Jesus experienced cold so that each of us could experience the true warmth of His love. Jesus was treated like an outsider in the inn, so that we could be welcomed into God’s family. Finally, remember that He experienced poverty so that believers could experience true riches.
So while the Christmas story is beautiful, it is just the tip of the iceberg, because it points to the unspeakable sacrifice Christ would later make for you and me. It points to the path of joy and freedom we can have when we lay down our burden of sin and ask Him into our hearts, and it points to the first steps we must take towards enjoying the true spirit of Christmas all year long.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-432-6498. When prompted, press 1 for live chat rooms, and we’ll be waiting in room 31. You can press pound to bypass our friend Sharon’s intro message once you’ve entered room 31. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.