Friday, December 20, 2013

Follow the Star….

I was incredibly blessed to share the Nativity story with the preschool children at St. Philip’s UMC this week.   We talked about the parts of the story that three- and four-year-olds could really understand about that first Christmas.

We talked about Mary and how she was very close to having a baby when she made a long journey with Joseph.  I told the kids that we guess it took Mary and Joseph about a week to make the trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem.  Over 2000 years ago, they didn’t have any of the travelling conveniences we have today.  Many of the kids insisted Mary must have ridden a donkey…..well, it may not be Biblical but there is one in our Nativity scenes, as well.  Many of the kids’ Moms had been pregnant within their short memories, so they could identify with Mary’s size and discomfort. 

How is your journey to Bethlehem?  Is it long and dangerous and uncomfortable like Mary’s?  Do you have a donkey to ride?  Have you even begun your journey?

The children and I also talked about the shepherds.  How most people wouldn’t associate with the shepherds, but they were the first ones that God chose with which to share the Good News.   They weren’t afraid and they immediately went looking for that babe in a manger.

 What is your Good News?  Do you believe it?  Have you looked for it?  Most importantly, are you willing to dance in the streets and proclaim that news to others who normally won’t listen to you?

In this season of Christmas, I am truly dismayed by what is highlighted on the news.  Celebrities and their comments and people being grouped together because they identify themselves as persons of faith both dominate the news.  Many people who identify themselves as Christians believe many different things.  Please remember that as you evaluate any situation.

The Bible is a living document.  Particularly this time of year, I truly believe Jesus himself tells us what he would like for his “birthday” – and everyday.

In Luke Chapter 10, verse 27, Jesus shared the greatest commandment:  “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with ll your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”  

It is an amazing gift – one we can give to Jesus this year. 

Follow the star… Bethlehem….and to love.

Merry Christmas.