I don’t know what the wise men expected to see.
It seems natural to us who know the story–who know the REST of the story–that they ended up finding Jesus-The King of the Jews-the One whose birth was announced by a star in a humble abode.
But I think it might have surprised those rich rulers traveling so far to worship Him.
Read the rest here: Advent: Extravagant Worship
My heart beats with Mary’s. She knew and understood part of what was going on but had no way to anticipate or comprehend precisely what it meant to be the mother of Messiah.
She pondered the shepherds’ visit and their story.
I’ve pondered too.
Read the rest here: Advent: Ponder and Praise
Hearts full to overflowing with pride, self-reliance, love of power and money can’t find room for a message that suggests they might need saving.
Empty hearts, hopeless hearts, worn, weary and desperate hearts are hungry to hear that help is on the way.
Maybe that’s why God sent a most spectacular birth announcement to shepherds who were considered the lowest of the low.
Read the rest here: Advent: Unlikely Messengers
I’m not privy to everything God is doing in the world. And, frankly, what I see sometimes looks like He’s not doing much. I want Him to step in and make things right according to my limited knowledge.
But He’s working behind the scenes in ways I can’t imagine or comprehend.
He has a purpose and plan that will not be thwarted.
I do not for one moment believe that God Took My Child. But I absolutely, positively believe that He is using what the enemy meant for evil to accomplish good.
Read the rest here: Advent: Behind The Scenes
Music has always reached a place in my heart when nothing else could get through.
And although the “songs” in Luke’s gospel aren’t set to a singable tune, I can hear the high notes accompanying the words.
The first words Zechariah spoke after his long months of silence were a beautiful celebration of who God is and what He was about to do.
Read the rest here: Advent: Our Hero God
A few times in my life I’ve been utterly overwhelmed by an outpouring of God’s grace and mercy.
And like David who danced before the Lord when the Ark was returned to Jerusalem, I simply can’t contain myself. I want to move my body in response to the rhythm of the good news.
So I understand Mary’s response to Elizabeth’s blessing.
Read the rest here: Advent: Dancing the Song of My Savior God
I imagine Mary held those words close to her heart over the next many months when whispers and sideways glances followed her everywhere.
I know I hold close the words the Lord has given me.
When I read Scripture, the Holy Spirit often quickens my spirit to take note and take hold of a verse or two. He whispers, “This one is for YOU”, to my heart.
I underline it, write it down, meditate on it, come back to it and rest in the truth that if God says it, it’s true.
Read the rest here: Advent: Highly Favored
There are moments, days-even weeks-when I feel trapped inside an impermeable bubble of sorrow and pain. No human touch or words can pierce the armor around my heart.
I can’t pray, I can’t read my Bible, I can barely lift my head.
It’s then that Jesus comes to me gently, sweetly, with grace, compassion and love because He knows every single heartache I endure. He walked the earth and was betrayed, wounded, forsaken. He is not far off and unaware.
Read the rest here: Advent: God With Us
It was one thing for Mary, who saw the angel Gabriel and was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit to have confidence that the growing child inside her belly was the Son of God.
It was quite another for Joseph, her betrothed, to take her word for it.
Contrary to the way we like to imagine “the olden days” intimate liaisons before marriage were just as common then as now. Betrothed couples were considered married in every way except physical consummation of the relationship. And not everyone waited for the final ceremony.
Read the rest here: Advent: [Nearly] Blind Trust
It’s easy to read the stories of Zechariah and Mary, both visited by the angel Gabriel with unlikely and hard-to-believe messages, and wonder why Zechariah was struck dumb when he asked a question but Mary was commended.
The difference is heart attitude.
Read the rest here: Advent: A Willing Heart