Monday, December 26, 2011

Star or Cross?

The cross hanging on the church wall
A few years ago my husband and I were driving home one winter night when we spotted a beautiful, bright star, hanging low in the dark evening sky. It made us think of the star that the wise men saw all those years ago. But as we kept our eyes on that star and drew closer to it, we realized that this was not a star at all. It was a cross, lit from behind, hanging on the wall of a church.
How symbolic and prophetic is that? In the star associated with the birth of Jesus, we also saw the cross, associated with his death. And what a great reminder to us, that as we celebrate the glitz and glamor of Christmas, we also celebrate the Alpha and the Omega...the beginning and the end. From cradle to crucifixion, from Christmas to Calvary..the more we keep our eyes on Jesus and the closer we draw to Him, the more He allows us to see.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Internal Life...

A re-post from Christmas 2010...

Translated into over 1100 languages from Afrikaans to Zulu, John 3:16 must surely be the most memorized verse in the Bible. Martin Luther called it 'the Gospel in miniature'- just 26 words that summarize God's entire purpose for sending Jesus into the world: 
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Recently, I was teaching a 3rd Grade Bible class and had challenged the students to memorize John 3:16. A cute little girl raised her hand and recited the verse perfectly until she got to the next to the last word:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have internal life.
Her mom and I smiled as we automatically started to correct her, but then we stopped. That little girl was not wrong. In fact, she was absolutely right! We who believe in Jesus, along with eternal life, can claim 'internal' life too. As we celebrate the birth of Christ this season, let's remember that we have Jesus living inside us, with all the peace, joy and hope that He alone can bring. No matter what may rage externally, we can hold on to internal life- life 'in all its fullness.' This Christmas, let's sow the message of internal life deep into the hearts of the children we nurture.
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10: 10

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Down, Down, Down..

Last year when my husband and I flew back to England to visit our families, we went to see Lord Horatio Nelson's flagship- the HMS Victory. Now lying in a dry dock, the Victory is the oldest commissioned warship in the world and fought in the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the Napoleonic Wars. One of the Victory's most impressive features was an enormous anchor, weighing an incredible 2 tons! I stood on deck and imagined that huge anchor plummeting down, down, down, to the murky depths of the ocean below in order to hold that ship safely in place. And it made me think of Jesus.
Weighing probably less than 10 pounds, that tiny baby came... down, down, down, to the murky depths of humanity below in order to hold us close to Him. Friends... you and I are anchored in heaven by Jesus Christ. Storms may blow and seas may rage around us, but He is holding us safely to Him- a firm anchor that will never let us go. What an incredible message to teach our children this Christmas!
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19

Monday, December 5, 2011

A Captivating Moment

I witnessed a beautiful little scene today. Returning home from my morning walk, I heard the sounds of laughter coming from a neighbor's driveway. A grandpa was playing hide and seek with his young grandson. The little boy covered his eyes and began to count whilst Grandpa hid behind the car. When the little boy reached 10, he ran and immediately found his grandpa, who took off running. The little guy squealed in delight and followed in hot pursuit. I stopped to watch this little scene. It was captivating. It made me smile.
I am convinced that God stops to watch us when we are bringing joy to His children. I am convinced that he is captivated by those little moments and wants to share them with us. And I am convinced that when He sees us serving His little ones in ministry, it makes Him smile. Imagine that.We can make the creator of the universe smile. How awesome is that?