Used to be, when somebody would hit you with the remark: "Were you born in a barn?!", you were supposed to be offended. Not me.
No, I wasn't born in a barn – but not far from one. I'd turn it around and ask: "So what's your problem? Got something against being born in a barn?"
Think about it. Most of the finest animals you and I have raised were born there. And, the most influential baby to come to the earth was laid in a manger – presumably in a barn or stable.
In a few days, the world will celebrate the day more than 2,000 years ago that Jesus was born. Before you get all wrapped-up in heresay, no one really knows if Jesus was born exactly on Dec. 24. It doesn't matter.
What matters is that we recognize that this man changed the history of the world in three short years – just as was prophesied for thousands of years beforehand that the Son of God, the Messiah, would come. His ministry and miracles were chronicled in Hebrew, Greek and Roman records. It's real-life history, not just a story.
And Jesus did it without any help from mass media (There wasn't any.), and against considerable opposition by ruling authorities. (There still is.) That would take an act of God, wouldn't it – especially today?
So in the days ahead . . .
Put the brakes on business as usual at least forthe next few days. Contemplate these thoughts paraphrased from Dr. Charles Stanley:
Bust your busyness: Celebrate the real reason for this season – not the stuff you stuff in your mouths or stuff you buy for others – or yourself.
Think eternal perspective – not earthly: When you're wrapped up in earthly agendas, it's no wonder enjoyment of living remains elusive. It's time to let God order your days and give you His plan for you. It's time to try to follow Jesus' example.
Cast off unhealthy attitudes: Perfectionism, false guilt and apathy undermine enjoyment of life. You thought I was going to say gambling, drinking and too much food, didn't you? The first three are just as destructive as the last three.
This season is to be about celebrating God's love for us, the priorities He gave us for successful living and the coming of Jesus.
With this truth in mind, may you and yours have a blessed Christmas and a peace-filled, prosperous new year!
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