Wonder what it would have been like . . .

Vol.2 No. 52a 12-25-2017

  • Wonder what it would have been like to be present at the
    birth of Christ in Bethlehem?
  • To see Him in a lowly manger
  • To find the conditions that prevailed
  • To see if it looked like the Christmas cards we receive
    or, if the pictures in our story books have validity
  • To see the expressions on the faces of Mary and Joseph
  • To hear the first words of how this birth would change
    the history of the world
  • To hear about the gift of God for all humankind
  • To hear what people understood about the birth of Jesus
  • To observe the normal people surrounding the birth
  • To see Mary’s confidence of what God was providing through the birth of His Son
  • To grasp the wickedness of Herod as the child grew
  • To observe the Magi who later came to worship the newborn King
  • To have seen the tail end of the awesome guiding star
  • To hear the distant angels sing
  • To hear the excitement of the shepherds
  • What were the thoughts of these people really like?

When the Magi finally arrived, they brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They bowed in worship. Their gifts were fitting for the events to come. Gold for the family needs as they were to go into Egypt. Frankincense and myrrh for the burial spices needed following Christ’s crucifixion—Jesus was born to die for the salvation of those who would come to Him.

The Magi, following their visit, had been instructed to return to Herod. Herod wanted to kill the Christ child. That is the way of political elites who are distrustful of people taking their positions. However, the Magi, perhaps arriving from the school of Daniel in Babylon (not exactly the orient), knew to avoid returning to Herod. They were instructed through a dream/vision to return on another path.

But then, it is the expectation of God that one who comes to Him changes direction; changes their path of life.

We live in a time when people attend church for the cultural norm, not to really worship. It is about them, not Christ. It is about the holiday (Happy Holidays! — not Merry Christmas!). Worship is only considered if it does not disrupt the holiday plans of families. Wow! Political correctness has led people down the wrong path, to stay on the same road. Not be a part of a forever change.

Believers have to be intentional about their worship—plan the important times for their families. What do we teach our families when we cannot take time for worship due to Christmas eve or Christmas falling on the weekend, or on the Monday following Sunday, Christmas eve? Some churches rearrange their schedules to accommodate “family time.” But they open their doors a week later to make sure the church is open for the many who have spent their New Year’s Eve drinking and making merry. What a contrast we witness in today’s church!

• Churches send notices to their members to “catch up on their giving” – wonder how the early believers got their notices
• Churches redecorate their churches to “catch” the younger crowd or the unchurched. They put bright flashing lights up and paint the “stage” dark, even black. Strange churches would do this if their goal was to draw unbelievers to the light; that is what the Scriptures intend – to draw people to the light
• Churches replace worship to the glorious God with theatre to make unbelievers comfortable, to have a venue like the concerts the young people attend, cranking up the sound/volume so it will be just like the places the millennials and unchurched attend, and then to provide musicians and vocalists that call attention to themselves
• Wonder what rock group played at the birth of Jesus
• Strange what we call worship today, we have made worship about ourselves instead of toward Almighty God

The baby in the manger came as a conquering King to dethrone us and then to enthrone Himself in our hearts and lives forever and ever.

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

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