01 December, 2013


Please visit the Hayes/Elliff Christmas blogsite:  adventagain.blogspot.com
As we roll into this Christmas season, I've been pondering.....If I had not been born in the USA
would I know the name Jesus?  Would I believe in this God-Man?  If I had been born in Vietnam or Russia or China would I have learned the story of Christmas?  Or would I still be waiting to hear some Good News?
I recently heard a story of young woman who was studying at an American university and Christmas was about to be celebrated.  She had only heard of God since arriving in America three years ago and was interested but still seeking.  As she visited with her American friend one day they begin to discuss spiritual matters.  And after a matter of minutes, this young foreign student became intrigued about a book her friend was discussing.  As she took out her notepaper to write down the book title she hesitated....her writing looked like this......Je
She stopped writing and looked up at her friend and said, "I'm not sure how to spell Jesus.  I've never written this before."
Clearly, her friend filled in the blanks.  And my pondering began anew.  Many people are living in a preJesus world.  Would I believe if I my birth had been elsewhere?  And IF I do believe how is my life different?  How have I let this Jesus change me?
Why does it matter, you may be thinking.  Well, for some reason it matters to me.  For some reason, this realization leads me to my knees in thanksgiving and gratitude.  It stirs in me a desire to tell this News.  And it makes me wonder about my PreJesus days and my life since knowing Him.  Has there been a change in me?

Today, I began to think about Mary's preJesus days.  She had them, she lived days waiting for a Saviour.  But then one day...

The following month God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin, Mary, engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Congratulations, favored lady! The Lord is with you!”
Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be frightened, Mary,” the angel told her, “for God has decided to wonderfully bless you! Very soon now, you will become pregnant and have a baby boy, and you are to name him ‘Jesus.’  He shall be very great and shall be called the Son of God. And the Lord God shall give him the throne of his ancestor David.  And he shall reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom shall never end!”  Mary asked the angel, “But how can I have a baby? I am a virgin.”
Luke 1:26-32Living Bible
Mary's answer to all this Good News was confusion, disturbance, fear and...absolute faithfulness.  "I am the Lord's servant," she answered.

In this early Christmas season, the excitement is just beginning to build.  I want these days to be marked by a faithful response of, "I am the Lord's servant."  As I think and live the month ahead, I desperately want to be as excited about Jesus' birth as I am about my family gathering, gifts and cooking delicious foods.  I want to ponder again....

...if I'm "so excited" about Christmas and the celebration of His birth how will my life reflect that excitement?  Amidst the confusion and disturbance of this season, am I the Lord's servant as we await His birth?  Am I a servant to those around me who are living preJesus lives?

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