Good Morning EAC! Thanks for joining me and hundreds of others in our church as together we read through God’s word. Today is Day #1. It has not been our goal to have as many people as possible to start Day 1, but to finish day 92. My prayer and my hope is that for all of you who start, that you will see it through to the end. Why? Because God’s word, the Bible, will change your life!
So, for the hope of transformed lives, here is my one “tip” for each daily reading. Begin each reading with a prayer. A simple prayer from the heart: Lord, make your word come to life in my heart. Lord, find my heart, my mind, my life completely open and yielded to you. Today, use your word to transform me! Today!
The Christmas Story. How many times in my life have I heard The Christmas Story? Not only have I read it, but how many times have I heard it told? Just Linus reciting it in “The Charlie Brown Christmas Special” would almost be more than I can count. So, here I go reading the story yet again. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the Christmas Story, it’s by far one of my favorite parts of the bible. It’s just that for anything that we are so familiar with, we don’t look at it looking for something new and fresh, as we know it so well; we just read it. …So I was reading it, the angel told Mary that she was going to have a baby. No ordinary baby, but the “Son of the Most High.” Mary’s response: “How will this be?” Now that’s a good question!
Think about all that is wrapped up in that question… “How will this be?”
- How will this be?
- How can it be?
- Are you kidding me?
- I can’t believe it!
- No one will believe…it.
- Who can I tell?
- I can’t tell anyone…they’ll think I’m either crazy or a liar..or both.
Thinking about all of those thoughts…it struck…you’re Mary, who do you tell? Who can you talk to? Who would understand?
Then the story mentions Elizabeth. Elizabeth was Mary’s Aunt, well up in age. Though we don’t know her exact age, she was somewhere between a senior citizen and elderly. (I’ll leave it to you to define what those mean).
Elizabeth was a very old woman who had never had any children. She and her husband had never been able to conceive. Now, here she is in the middle of her own miraculous birth, where an angel showed up to Elizabeth and said after all these barren years, “You’re going to have a baby!” “Your baby will be a boy, John the Baptist will be the baby’s name and John and Jesus would in fact be cousins.”
That’s when it hit me, isn’t it just like God to provide Mary with someone she already knew (her aunt) who would understand her miracle?
Who would believe an “Angel told me” story? …Someone who also had a visit from an angel, who would believe an unbelievable “I’m pregnant” story?
It’s just like God to provide Mary with someone who would understand what she was going through and He doesn’t do that just for Mary, but also for you!
Do you realize that there is nothing that you will go through, or are going through that God will not provide for you, other people who will understand? God never leaves us to go through life’s moments alone. There will be people who will care, who will cry with you, laugh with you, people who will love you and stand by you.
Now, they may not come running to you; Mary sought out and went to Elizabeth. Sometimes, that is exactly my problem. I wait or hope or expect that people should come to me and when they don’t come, I get angry or bitter or feel isolated. I’m learning to not let my pride keep me from enjoying the help and care that God provides to me through other people. So here are my final thoughts for today:
- First, are you going through something in your life today? Don’t go through it alone. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help or to tell someone your story. God has already provided people in your life who care.
- Second, would you be an “Elizabeth” to someone else who may be feeling alone. Imagine the relief it would have been to Mary to find Elizabeth and have her understand. Know someone in need, be aware, then step up and let them know you care.
My Prayer Today: Lord, don’t let my pride keep me from reaching out to others when I’m in need. Today help me to see beyond people’s masks, to see their real needs and then to offer to them myself.