Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A King's Cry

“And when I was born, I began to breathe the common air, and fell upon the kindred earth, and my first sound was a cry, like that of all.  I was nursed with care in swaddling cloths.  For no king has had a different beginning of existence;  there is for all mankind one entrance into life, and a common departure.  Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me; I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.  I preferred her to scepters and thrones, and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her.  Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem, because all gold is but a little sand in her sight, and silver will be accounted as clay before her.  I loved her more than health and beauty, and I chose to have her rather than light...” 

This passage referencing “swaddling cloths” may be less familiar to you than the one found in Luke.  While you may have envisioned Jesus speaking these words, these are the words of Solomon, the first son of David, found in the Apocrypha (Wisdom of Solomon 7).  And while Solomon was certainly known to be a great king, both wise and humble; his birth was but a glimpse of the birth that would follow.  The son of David. Wise.  Humble.  The Son of God.  My Savior.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

There Is Room

On a cold winter night, a young woman, very pregnant, made her way to an inn to ask for a warm place to give birth to her baby, and she was denied.  While all attention is focused on the mother and the baby, I have to consider what was going on in the innkeeper’s mind that evening.  Granted, he did not know that he was dismissing the Savior of the world to a bed intended as a trough for animals; but shouldn’t it have been enough that there was a young woman giving birth to make room for her inside?  And while this treatment seems inexcusable, I recognize that I do the same thing every day.  I dismiss Jesus from my life to make room for all of the less important things.  But in my case, it is worse than the innkeeper, because  I KNOW He is my Savior.  I made this small sign from the leftover wood from the manger I built to remind me, and those who visit me, that there is room, or at least I want for there to be.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Mary Did You Know

I play the trumpet, and that may have something to do with why when I listen to songs now, I am all about the notes,  but I have to really concentrate on the words.  For most songs that I like, I can sing the melody to you, but don’t ask me what the song is about.  I probably don’t know.  I think this is terrible and something that I want to fix.  Most of the time, I just don’t try to comprehend the lyrics, but sometimes, even when I try, I can’t physically understand what the artist is saying.  Every once in a while, the artist makes it a little easier on me.   In keeping with the manger theme from last week, one of my  clients forwarded me a link to this new arrangement of “Mary did you know?”.   In case you are one of the 18+ million people who hasn’t heard this yet,  you should give it a listen.  If you have heard it already, take another listen, and try to picture the angel describing to Mary what she is about to experience.  I hope Christmas comes alive for you this year.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Dimming the lights

As Caroline and I started planning for Christmas this year, we were excited about a couple of things.  First, we have our Christmas cards printed, signed and in the mail.  This is huge for us, as that task is usually hanging over us the week before (and sometimes after) Christmas.  Second, we have a lot of fun opportunities to see family, people from church and people from work at several holiday gatherings during the season.    One of the things that is somewhat of a struggle for me is the decorating.  After we get the tree up, Caroline handles almost everything inside, but the outside is something I usually handle.  Putting the stuff up is tolerable, but taking it down is the worst.  I convinced Caroline that something simpler might be good this year, and she agreed.  I wanted to find a manger to put in front of the house.  The available plastic or aluminum feed troughs at Tractor Supply Co. didn’t seem exactly right, so after a trip to Home Depot for some wood and a new circular saw blade, I was able to come up with the  one pictured.  It ain’t fancy, but from what I hear, neither was the one that Mary laid Jesus in.  Merry Christmas.