Sunday, December 7, 2014
Wise Men Still Do
Luke 2:1-7 No room in the inn. I stayed in the Country Inn and Suites this fall. Lots of places were displaying a No Vacancy sign. Thankfully, we had reservations. It makes me think what was an inn in Bethlehem and how many were there? Probably only one in that small town just a few miles outside of Jerusalem. An inn in that day may have only had one large room where straw was scattered on the floor for visitors to lay their bedding. Hmm. Just wondering if the innkeeper really didn't have room or noticing Mary's condition, he thought it better not to subject his other guests to the possibilities and probability that the night would bring. Who knows if he actually offered them the stable? What would the stable have been like? A town full of visitors, lots of animals filling a common stable in what was probably a damp cave opening. Did I say lots of animals? When was the last time the stable was cleaned? Was there fresh hay? A damp cave with lots of animals -pewwww!
Jesus came into a filthy stable and into a filthy world. Isaiah 64:6 says all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. But Isaiah 1:18 says though our sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. It always amazes me how the snow makes the ground look level. All the ditches and potholes are even with the ground. Our sin makes us all filthy but the blood of Jesus cleanses us white as snow and we are all on the same level.
Father, we thank you that you are not a respecter of persons but we are all equal before you. We are all as filthy rags until Your Son cleanses us, Then we are all white as snow and every sin is covered.
Blessed be Your name Lord Jesus. Amen.
Luke 2:8-20 The shepherds were considered the lowest of the low in society's eyes. They lived out among their flocks, unkempt and unclean. Just working the third shift, talking, dozing, keeping watch over the sheep when unexpectedly the Angel of the Lord appears with the news of the Messiah. Then a host of heavenly angels appears and sings. Wow, what a night!
When my husband worked third shift, it was hard, dirty work, often in bad weather. One Christmas it occurred to us that the shepherds were third shift workers. It made us aware that things can happen in the strangest circumstances. God knows our stiuati9ons. He's looking, watching, caring about us. He cared that lowly shepherds knew about the birth of His Son.
Lord, how amazing that You see us in all our circumstances and You care. You want to encourage us and show us great and mighty things if our hearts are right. Make us ever aware that You are here. In Jesus name. Amen
Luke 2: 21-40 The circumcision was in eight days but the days of purification was longer depending on if a boy or girl was born. Mary was following God's laws from the beginning of Jesus birth.
Proverbs tell us to train up a child in the way he should go. A child needs a Godly home before it is born. Just because a baby enters the family is no reason to use it as an excuse to stop going to church or doing what God has commanded. This would be the time to ramp it up, to train the child. Verse 40 should be the story of every child in a Christian home.
Dear Lord, we pray for families everywhere that they train their children in the Lord. In Jesus name. Amen
Matthew 2:1-10 The wise men from the East followed the star, but it seems to have gone away. They ended up in the natural place, Jerusalem. Herod had no knowledge of where the baby was to be born. There was no baby at his house. When he called the priests and scribes, they informed him of Bethlehem, but they didn't care enough to go. The wise men were still willing to seek Him.
Are we wise? Are we seeking Him or are we allowing people to influence our decisions?
Father, help us that we are only influenced by Your word. In Jesus name . Amen.
Matthew 2:11-23 The political leader of the day was afraid for his job. The religious leaders didn't care about God's Son so long as their coffers were full. The babies died for the security of their politics. Sound familiar?
IN the name of unity and fairness prayer has been disallowed in schools since the 1960's. Abortion followed . Now millions of our babies are dead. The terrorism of 9/11 brought scripture from our politicians but Isaiah 9:10 is a scripture of defiance, not of repentance. Now the religious leaders of our nation; have allowed a Muslim prayer service in our National Cathedral. II Chronicles 7:14 If my people....
Father, show us how to repent. I'm not sure we even know where to start. In Jesus name. Amen.