We listen, eyes wide open, as daddy reads the Advent story.
We hear and understand what he is teaching us tonight
through the words of his sermon from a year ago.
A genuine Response.
Amazing that God would bring word of the coming of The Messiah
to bunch of scruffy, unwashed shepherds.
Like you and I.
Yet it was these he chose, and these who responded in faith,
with joy went forth and proclaimed to the World the good news.
How has looking on the face of Jesus changed your life?
Have you, like the shepherd, responded with faith and joy?
He tells us this story:
When a traveler in the early days of the west came to the Mississippi,
he discovered there was no bridge.
Fortunately it was winter
and the great river was sheeted over with ice.
But the traveler was afraid to trust himself to it,
not knowing how thick it was.
Finally with infinite caution,
he crept on his hands and knees and managed to get halfway over.
And then he heard—yes, he heard singing from behind.
Cautiously he turned, and there, out of the dusk,
came another traveler,
driving a four-horse load of coal over the ice,
singing as he went!
Don’t let fear or lack of understanding keep you away from trusting
fully in Christ or in having joy in your current circumstance.
He loves you.
He came for you.
He is here with you.
And one day He will return for you.
Enjoy the comfort and security of knowing these things…
and here you will find strength for each new day.
Yet, at the celebration of his birthday,
we find our culture consumed in “All I want for Christmas is,”
instead of “what can I give Him on this day.”
Shouldn't it be something sacrificial?
Love is that way-
“Verily I say unto you,
inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these,
my brethren, you have done it unto me.”
Instead of buying each other presents,
we are sending the money we would have spent on ourselves
and sending it to a needy child somewhere in the world.
He/she will receive two goats to help their family with food
and perhaps give them a sustainable income with the milk, cheese
and meat these two goats will provide.
There are many options of what a family can purchase
for one of “the least of these.”
The children voted, and are delighted with the idea,
although Bethany was a bit confused and thought WE were getting goats.
It is amazing to me that our loving gift to Jesus
will yet simplify the season even more.
No gifts to hunt down, no presents to wrap.
And though I enjoy giving my children gifts,
this is one thing we can give them that they will not likely ever forget.
It is a priceless memory.
I do not think we will miss the material gifts this year.
We will share smiles around the table instead,
recalling that somewhere
there is a very happy family
whose needy children are fawning over their new goats.