Thursday, December 20, 2007

#3 Christmas Favs // Wednesday E-Devotion

I am dreaming of a cool Christmas.  No, not the temperature cool, but awesome and unforgettable.  We continue our top Christmas Favs today with two more people that light my fire.  Enjoy.
We all love the Christmas season.  One of my favorite, but also a pet-pevs, is the special music.  I hate it when radio stations start too early and don't stop when it is over.  But I love the music.  All the way to Oklahoma (this Christmas) or to Georgia (Christmas' past), I've made my family listen to endless Christmas music.  Now that XM radio is part of my life, there are many stations of Christmas festive tunes to choose from.  I love it.
What was the first Christmas song.  No, it wasn't Perry Como and his " White Christmas ".  It was Mary, Jesus' mother, and then the Shepherds with the Angels.  We will get to Mary later in the week.
My first Christmas Fav of the day are the Shepherds.  Yep, not one person but a slew of 'em.  These were country dudes that lots of people didn't too much care for.  But outside of Jesus' family, these were the first to be told that Jesus was born.  Listen to the song that the Angel's sang when they met these cowboys, I mean sheep boys:
Luke 2:13-14 (nlt) --- Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, "Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased."
Yes, it said they were speaking.  But I think they were singing at the top of their angel lungs so all the world could hear.  From this one chance, no, chosen meeting the world would see that God loved people more than anything.  He would give His biggest gift to us, to anyone who would take Him.  The shepherds, for me, symbolize the fact that the message Jesus brought is for everyone.  Big or small.  Rich or poor.  High and mighty or down and out.  Jesus is the baby of Christmas, the Savior of the World and the friend that people desperately need. 
The Shepherds made the list because they give us hope.  I think we need to hear a little more of what they first heard from the Angels:
Luke 2:10-12 (nlt) --- but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.  The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!  And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger."
The last Christmas Fav for the day are two more people, my brothers.  Different as night and day, and I love them both. 
One has been and continues to be one of my greatest encouragers because we are walking similar roads.  He goes to and often throws great stuff my way that makes ministry and life sweeter and sweeter.
The other has taught me so much and how to look beyond myself and into the community.  I enjoy those talks at TCBY or other times we are together.  Those times are far too rare.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (nlt) --- So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
Just remember....Christmas is all about Christ.  That is Jesus.  Son of God.  Baby in a manger.  Savior on the cross.  God in our lives, walking among us.  Christmas Favs remind me of that truth!
John 1:14 (msg) --- The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.

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