Saturday, December 25, 2004

We're Not Dreaming Of A White Christmas

Because it is a White Christmas! Yay! For the first time in YEARS there is actually snow on the ground on Christmas. Usually it's too wet, since we live by the river, but this year has done us well.

Lori and I exchanged presents this morning. Our very first Christmas in each other's company. Lovely. Then we walked through to the kitchen to get breakfast, noticed and celebrated the snow. Before Lori monopolised the bathroom. And I phoned BT to sort our crackly phone line.

Incidentally, poor guy. He was working on Christmas morning with people moaning about their broadband and stuff. I felt bad. I think he was sleeping when I called to be honest, he didn't seem quite with it.

I just got sidetracked with other people's blogs for ten minutes. No one else is sad enough to post at this time. Haha, I am the ultimate blogging dweeb.

Have a good day, and I hope Santa is good to you all. He was to me.

P.S. Check out the link.

-by Scott.

Yuletide Ponderings
-by Lori.

Last night at the Christmas Eve service we attended, a few Christmasy thoughts came to mind as we sang The First Noel. I've never thought too in depthly about the Christmas story and how it all worked to fit into God's plan and character. Here's what I thought about:

1) God always chooses the lowly and poor to reveal himself to. On the night Jesus was born, angels appeared to the shephards. Why the shephards? God could've revealed himself to well respected members of the Jewish community, or at least the truly godly ones. Certainly there were better deserving people who could've received this message and gone to worship. But God sent angels to the shephards. Probably mostly young men, even boys. And they believed what they heard and went to worship the new King.
Then I started wondering what happened to those shephards as they grew up. Did they follow what was happening in Jerusalem with the little boy they knew to be the Messiah? Did any of them become followers when Jesus began his ministry? Were any of those shephards who were present at Jesus' birth find themselves present at his death, too, or resurrection? I wonder what happened to them after 30 years passed with nothing spectacular happening with that baby they found lying in a manger.

2) The second verse of The First Noel then deals with the wise men and I got to thinking about them. In Romans (I think it's Romans) Paul says that no one is without excuse of not knowing God because God has shown Himself in all things. The wise men from the East saw a star they couldn't explain. They believed in their hearts that this star must mean something incredible--so incredible that they picked up their things and traveled for two years across the continent to find out what was at the other end. They were Gentiles. They were not part of God's covenant to the Jews. They knew nothing of God. Yet by faith, by the way God showed Himself to all the world (for I imagine anyone could've seen the star, and anyone could've, by faith, followed it) wise men from a foreign land came and worshiped.

So then, were they saved by faith? We have no reason to believe they stayed in Bethlehem and heard of Jesus' life and death. Yet they had faith in Jesus and knew him to be a great and mighty King. Obviously this is not something we are able to know while on this earth, but it struck me as interesting. Surely the whole world was without excuse those years that the star was in the sky--except the men who followed it.

I also find it interesting that, while God sent angels to the lowly shephards, he also showed the star to educated and wise men all the same. God doesn't actually exclude learned people from his Kingdom, it's just that learned men most often will reject God. God deliberately showed Himself to the poor shephards, but God also gave everyone the chance to follow His star. The wise men knew enough about astronomy to know that this star was unique. Yet instead of considering one of nature's oddities, they followed it believing it was more. And they found the Messiah. And they brought him gifts and worshipped him. Interesting.

Merry Christmas.

I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams.

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