12.16.20—Merry Christmas 2008!--Luke 2:6
My friend, may I ask you a question? "What is the meaning of Christmas?" Is that the day that Jesus died?" Is there was some truth in that answer for many these days?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
I’m M. Clifford Brunner
"While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."(Luke 2:6) When Joseph arrived in Bethlehem, there wasn't any room for he and Mary at all. Though it is likely that he knocked on many doors that night, there simply was no place that could give him what he was looking for, a place to come in from the cold, get warm, eat something and, most importantly, a place for his wife Mary to have her baby. There simply wasn't any room for a man so desperate and a woman in such pain. There was no room. It really didn't matter that they were in dire straits. Other people had gotten there first and it was, "First come, first serve!"
Doubtless, the problem in Bethlehem those many centuries ago was not a problem of logistics or timing. It was one of mercy. Don't think for a moment that Joseph simply knocked on a door and calmly inquired about a room. His words were words of pleading, punctuated by pain. "Can't you see that we need help?” "Won't anyone make an exception for us? My wife is in pain!" "What do you want us to do?" But, there was no room and mercy was hard to find that night. If there had been any, it must have died on its way to the census. There was none to be had.
A television interviewer was walking streets of Tokyo at Christmas time. Much as in America, Christmas shopping is a big commercial success in Japan. The interviewer stopped one young woman on the sidewalk, and asked, "What is the meaning of Christmas?" Laughing, she responded, "I don't know. Is that the day that Jesus died?" There was some truth in her answer. (Donald Deffner, Seasonal Illustrations, San Jose: Resource, 1992, p. 16.)
Although at Christmas we celebrate the holy birth of a Savior, in many ways it has become a celebration of his death. God comes each year knocking at our hearts, asking if there is room for Him and His message of salvation. "Can't you see how important this is?" "Is there no room for mercy and grace?" But, for many, it is the old rule: "First come, first serve." The door is slammed. To make room, something else would have to go and there is no time to make exceptions. Too often the response is: "Other things have gotten there first and these are comfortable. How can you ask me to tell them to leave?" Unfortunately, for many Christmas has become a celebration of death, not life. The death of mercy and the death of love have firmly implanted themselves amidst the holly and the cheer. "Make room for the birth of a Savior? Really, there are better things to do." "Hey, anyway it's first come, first serve! And I was there first." Merry Christmas!
We pray. Heavenly Father. We know that doubtless, the problem in Bethlehem those many centuries ago was not a problem of logistics or timing. It was one of mercy."Won't anyone make an exception for us? My wife is in pain!" "What do you want us to do?" But, there was no room and mercy was hard to find that night. If there had been any, it must have died on its way to the census. There was none to be had. Lord, it seems that many people’s hearts, including many Christians today, are just as empty, unable to appreciate that fact that a Savior was being born. Forgive us Lord and reawaken in us the joy and wonder of this holy season of promise and hope. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.