Tomorrow there will be lots of happy children after they open their gifts and see their long-awaited present. There will also be disappointment in the faces of those who won’t receive what they have hoped. The Christmas season can be a time of celebration for some, but also a time of sadness and disappointment for others. People respond in so many ways to this season. Christians try their best to keep Christ in the celebration.
It’s funny to see how some kids respond when they open their gifts and it’s not what they have asked for or expected. Some become extremely happy or extremely disappointed. I have heard kids pray at school that they get everything they want for Christmas. Usually when we pray, we would like God to intervene on our behalf. To help us, guide us or give us something we need.
One of the best ways for the church today to understand its mission is to take a closer look at the life of Jesus. Jesus was on a mission when he came and he was all about fulfilling his mission for the glory of God the Father. When we are not sure what our mission as followers of Jesus is in this world, we need to take a closer look at Jesus. Because the church is the incarnation of Jesus in the world.
There is so much hate in our world, in our country, communities. People need to see love, experience love, the world needs to learn what love is all about.
Jesus once said that the whole law of God and the prophesies are summed up in two commandments. To love God and love people. This world would be a completely different place if we just lived out these two commandments.
We all have calendars and agendas, we write dates in our calendar to remind ourselves of events we want to attend; things we don’t want to forget; we set up the alarm clocks so we can remember to get up at certain time to start doing those things we include in our agenda for that day. Today is Palm Sunday according to our calendar, we remember the time when Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Most people may know this when they hear the phrase “palm Sunday.” This event is known in the Bible as the triumphant entry. What was this about? What was it time for? The four gospel writers speak about this, but we will look at the account in Luke 19:28-44
Life is full of choices, we choose daily: the clothes we are going to wear that day, the colors, and the food we are going to eat (here you may make a choice that is healthier than others). When you buy a phone or computer, you choose what works better for you financially but you also about the quality. We make decisions based on what we know, our preferences, based on our research, what is more suitable for us.
People respond to Christmas differently; some choose to celebrate it, others don’t. For some it could be a time of celebration and family time. For others, they would love if this holiday didn’t exist. Some tend to hate this holiday because of how commercialized it has become. Regardless of the commercialization of Christmas, some try really hard to focus on the birth of Jesus. Regardless of what people do in Christmas, some people try their best to remind themselves of the time when God sent them a Savior. This is how they choose to respond to what Christmas has become these days
A young girl was planning a wedding; she was so excited, but one day she had an unexpected visitor who brought to her some disturbing news. She may need to put the wedding on hold.
Can you imagine if you have been planning something for a while, and someone shows up and says to you. You have to put your plans on hold; your plans will be delayed, there is something you have to do first. This truly would make you uncomfortable.
This young girl was Mary. God sent his angel Gabriel to deliver the news to her.
David Clark, minister of Central Christian Church in Beloit, WI was invited to speak at Lincoln Christian University in 2007 during a conference “Leading your church to be a missional community”
David was told to share his story of how the church grew from the hundreds to the thousands. David said that people would normally come to him and asked him about his success. He said that he just broke himself before God. “Brokenness is good because only broken hearts find the heart of God.” “You know what happens when you get a heart well broken and it melts with the heart of God, you get a heart for lost people.” David Clark
David told the story of how he got broken before God, the leadership team and then the whole church and this was the reason why they were being missional in their community.
We everything that is going on in our world today, wars, hate, discrimination, etc. It’s evident more and more that our world needs Jesus, his touch, his love and compassion in order for it to eliminate hate and animosity from our midst. Think about it, if we treated each other the Jesus way this world would be better. People who came in contact with Jesus were never the same; their lives were transformed. We need transformation in our lives, but we are seeking in the wrong places.
Very often we wonder why some people grow faster than others; or why there are some who hardly grow in their faith. Scripture tells us why some people mature and others don’t. We have read that story many times; but I think we don’t see ourselves in it when we read it. It’s been around for two thousand years now. Wouldn’t you like to know what keeps people from growing? Why some grow at a faster rate than others? Jesus tells us the reason using a very common illustration. Farming or gardening. You know that a seed will not grow the same way on any soil in which you plant it. The condition of the soil is very important; it will determine the productivity of the seed. So also the condition of your heart will determine your growth.
It must have been an awful weekend for the apostles and followers of Jesus; their leaders got arrested on Thursday evening and then nailed to a cross on Friday afternoon. This was a horrifying weekend for followers of Jesus. Their hopes and dreams were shattered by a cross. Jesus was the one they thought would restore the kingdom to Israel, their expected messiah. Jesus had told his followers that they would fall away because of him. “Strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered” (Matt. 26:31; Mk.14:27; Zech.13:7). This is exactly what happened when Jesus was apprehended; his followers abandoned him. Fear and insecurity had gripped them. They chose to hide and they would lock the doors for they were afraid, they would be hunted down for being followers of Jesus. The death of Jesus was a shocker to them; they didn’t expect it nor did they want it. The news of the resurrection was also a shocker for Jesus’s followers. They didn’t expect Jesus to rise from the dead either. If they had expected it, they would have gone home thinking “ok Jesus, see you in three days.” They had forgotten Jesus’s words to them about the resurrection. Every time Jesus spoke of his death, he also emphasized raising up on the third day.