Yes… I am alive. I just received a quick email from my friend Mike telling me I needed to update more often, even if it’s just saying that I am running around like crazy 🙂 Thanks for the kick Mike!
So, this is the first time checking email since leaving Montana mid-December. I have to say that western Nebraska isn’t necessarily “up to speed” with the world wide web. However, I LOVE Nebraska and it was good to be home for a bit.
I arrived in Nebraska after two days of driving on my birthday, December 15. It’s hard to believe I’m already back in Montana; break goes so quickly!
As I prepared for the Christmas season, something new hit me. I had been thinking about the Old Testament and what it meant to THEM that first Christmas. They, as a people, had seen good and prosperous times with King David, then difficult times throughout the rest of the Kings and Prophets. They had been dragged away into slavery. Despite their being exiled, many had listened to the propets’ promises from God to send a Savior, a Redeemer, a Prince of Peace… they moved back to Jerusalem, rebuilt the walls and the temple. They awaited their Savior with faith that God, who promised, was faithful.
As I thought about their mindset during that first Christmas. God came totally unexpectedly and in a way all of His own design. So… what does Christmas mean to me? Yes, it blows my mind to imagine that GOD came as an INFANT! – An infant – which especially during that time had no power, no authority, no riches, etc. He came as a lowly baby.
However, something hit me deeper than all these thoughts this year. I was reading 1 Cor 11 where Paul is talking about communion. He says that we are to take communion and profess the Lord’s death until His return. OUR GOD IS GOING TO RETURN!!!!
It seems like there has been an abundance of heartache the past few months. My grandpa passing away, 2 members of YWAM Arvada, 2 sisters from New Life in Colorado, people in the Omaha Westroads Mall, a friend of mine from college passed away Dec. 31 unexpectedly. She had spent much time in South America, had graduated with a nursing degree, worked with homeless kids up in the Twin Cities…she got a lung tumor and was gone within a few weeks. I am heartbroken for her family and it just isn’t fair. This world is not fair. It is a broken world and things aren’t always as God planned them to be. BUT…we have SALVATION, we have our SAVIOR, we have the SPIRIT speaking to us daily, we have a God who LOVES us…and He has promised to return, to take away sickness and death, to give us eternal life, and to make us whole.
We do have a faithful, merciful, loving, trustworthy God. Just as promised to send His son to the world the first time, so He has promised to return again. And He will! We come together with common union, together as a body, to remind one another of our Great God and His promises…to encourage one another to be a holy and sanctified people to shine in the darkness around us and proclaim that OUR GOD REIGNS despite all circumstances. We have a hope and faith to push forward through all.
One more thing… the Jews who had rebuilt the walls and temple in Jerusalem, waiting for God to send His promised Redeemer hadn’t heard a WORD from God since the last prophet until John the Baptist for 400 years. God speaks to us DAILY!!! How great is our God? Our IMMANUEL. God is with us…and He will come physically again to take us…until then…live on!!!
Merry Christmas and may God bless you RICHLY this year as you seek and live for our Savior, Jesus.
Prayer Requests: (we have to have these right??)
1. I teach 2 Peter and Jude next week (Wednesday). Please pray as my studying comes to an end and I prepare my lecture!!
2. The students as they finish the New Testament and prepare to enter the Old. Also safe travel as they head back to Montana.