Christmas: A Profoundly Simple Story
"Jesus was a Capricorn
He ate organic food
He believed in love and peace
And never wore no shoes
Long hair, beard and sandles
And a funky bunch of friends
Reckon we'd just nail him up
If he came down again..."
Miracles & Deep Truths
Jesus of Nazareth hailed from a remote village in the Middle East. For most of his life he lived in obscurity, but then gained notoriety during the three-year period of his public ministry.
There were many firsthand accounts of him healing the lame and giving sight to the blind. Miracles were commonplace as he traveled about doing good and helping others.
Mysteriously devout, he had an uncanny knack for upsetting the powerful religious elite who dominated every aspect of societal life. His words and actions disturbed them so greatly that they entertained murderous thoughts and conspired to eliminate him.
A group of fervent followers gathered around him - mostly blue-collar types who were well acquainted with the hard realities of the world. He taught them extraordinary lessons gleaned from ordinary situations; he taught them deep truths about God with an inspired passion that was contagious.
Crucify The Man
Multitudes flocked to him, clamoring for him to be their king, but at the height of his popularity he was betrayed by a close friend and put on trial for heresy.
The fix was in from the beginning. The system was primed for manipulation, so the very ones who brought the accusations against him determined the outcome of the highly irregular court action.
Completely innocent of all charges, Jesus of Nazareth accepted the death sentence guilty verdict with quiet resignation - “He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.”
The mode of capital punishment was particularly barbaric. Stripped of his clothing and his dignity, he was nailed to an instrument of torture and put on public display to be ridiculed. Suspended above his tormentors, he spoke of forgiveness before succumbing to the convulsions of death.
Then he was taken down from the cross and buried in a borrowed tomb. If he had merely been an itinerant rabbi or just a peasant carpenter that would have been the end of the story. But three days later he came alive, triumphant over sin and death. His solitary life, death and resurrection continually has an incredible impact on civilization.
Celebrate The Baby
Each and every year we celebrate a season to honor his birthday. For hundreds of years before his birth prophets predicted his arrival. When his mother received the divine announcement of her pregnancy she sang a song of praise.
On that wondrous night in Bethlehem angels visited shepherds on a hillside and told them to go and see for themselves. Intrigued, they left their flocks to become eyewitnesses who spread the word.
Now 2000 years later we decorate our homes and buy presents for each other in his name. Jesus of Nazareth never raised an army, never wrote any literature, never penned any symphony or accomplished anything our world associates with prominence.
Yet 2000 years after his humble birth we remember it with pomp and ceremony. We’ve built traditions around its commemoration that provide comfort and hope. How is that possible?
The answer is that those shepherds must have been all excited and raced away from that manger to share the news from person to person. Their enthusiasm had an infectious quality because someone told someone else who told someone else who told someone else and on and on and on.
Does the profoundly simple truths of Christmas generate a sense of awe & wonder in you?
Awe & Wonder
When was the last time we were charged up about Jesus? His birth fascinates us; his life is a model for us to emulate; his death and resurrection impacts us in ways beyond our capacity to understand, but do we ever allow the supernatural to touch our hearts or change our lives?
Have we become immune to the spectacular marvel of renewal and rebirth? Do we ever respond to the gospel message with the simple obedience displayed by the shepherds? Or in our intellectual superiority and enlightenment would we just nail him up if he came down again?
Take a moment to pause in the midst of our culture’s chaos to contemplate the profound awe of those shepherds - “The shepherds went back to their fields and flocks, glorifying and praising God for what the angels had told them, and because they had seen the child, just as the angel had said.”
- Wanted Man
Wanted Man a.k.a. Ken R. Abell, seeks to be a blessing to others. He's a rake, a rambler, and a teller of tales who understands that there is strength in a story well told and well lived. To learn more, inquire or schedule him, visit this web site.
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