JOY --- Jesus On the JourneY

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

God of the Simple

 I came across a Women of Faith forward yesterday that posed a question:  "What if Mary had said 'NO'?  She was busy planning her wedding -- what if she'd said -- 'Not now'?
It got me to thinking -- how very different our world might have been today."

I have included part of today's script from "Girlfriends in God" because I feel it brings the heart of the Christmas text to my very doorstep. Our house is draped in Christmas lights -- We look like a used car lot -- and I still have more to put up.   I love the concept of Jesus as the LIGHT  -- Here's my favorite from today's devotional.

I simply cannot imagine a world without the presence of God and yet I often live my life as if He does not exist. A crisis hits, and I try to handle it on my own. I don't understand the trials in my life while those who could care less about God seem to prosper. Instead of reaching out to Him, I withdraw into the darkness. Financial stress fuels worry. Instead of turning to God, I rely on what I can see and understand. I settle.
When I do cry out to God, He lovingly fills each dark corner with Light. His love flows over the pain like soothing balm and once again, I experience the manger. Once again, Jesus Christ steps into the smelly, unlikely and very ordinary existence that is mine to change everything - absolutely everything!
Jesus could have come to us in many ways. The simplicity of His birth is extraordinary and sometimes hard to grasp. Jesus could have been born in a mansion. He was, after all, a King. Instead, He came to a dirty smelly manger and His birth was announced by common shepherds instead of Kings -- the greatest of all miracles in the midst of total simplicity. Today, Jesus still wants to meet us in the midst of our simple daily lives. It seems too easy and too good to be true, doesn't it? 
The very heart of Christmas is Emanuel, God with us - with me - and with you. Christmas is not a date on a calendar. Christmas is a way of life that celebrates the presence of God in the simple, ordinary happenings of daily life: where we go and what we do -- the smile we give the harried stranger or the patience we choose in the crowd of impatient shoppers -- the love that prompts the secret gift or the heart that constantly celebrates His birth through every sparkling light, every beautifully wrapped gift, each special meal, every card, phone call and visit. God is with us - if we choose to make room for Him.
From Girlfriends in God  Nov. 29, 2011

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