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Christian Counseling - Christmas Can Always Be New

The Person of God is as illusive as the wind. Just when we think we know Him deeply, we are surprised by strange biblical revelations. God doesn't take the road most traveled or the least, but the road untraveled.

In preparation for what would we would call the first Christmas, God chose barren Elizabeth in her old age to give birth to a son. He was not to be named after someone in the family as usual, but "John." He wasn't like the other boys. Until his public appearance, the prophet lived in the desert and ate locusts, but to us it would seem he was a little antisocial and obsessive-compulsive.

Jesus is conceived by a middle-class, unwed woman. That is one way to get people talking about the story. From the outset, this entrance of God in the world creates doubt in many, including Joseph, about the impropriety of Mary. How hard it must have been for family and neighbors to believe in a conception by the overshadowing of the Spirit.

God could have arranged for a late cancellation at the inn in Bethlehem to provide for His own Son's birth in something other than a smelly and unsanitary stable. But God is not showy. Instead, He chose a quiet, uncelebrated entrance of Jesus to our world, save the magi.

These men, magi, could have been directed by God to avoid Herod the king in their search for Jesus. Did the light of the star in the east stop shining for a little while, so that they had to ask for directions? From them Herod learned about Jesus and perceived Him as a threat to his own glory and power. He became suspicious, jealous and vengeful. He committed infanticide and mass murder of all infants under two years of age in and around Bethlehem. The age of the victims was determined from information he received from the magi.

If we humans were given the task of setting the stage for the birth of Jesus, we would not have chosen these props. His ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts, heart or anything else. This makes it hard and, in some ways, impossible to understand Him. However, there is a wonderful message in all this. God is above us all in every way. Therefore, it behooves us to keep an open heart and mind this season to the strange movements of the Spirit within us and in the events we encounter. In so doing we will find a freshness to Christmas and an excitement that Elizabeth, Mary and others of their time experienced. We will be met by the reality that "'...nothing will be impossible with God"' (Luke 1:37) and that His surprises are unending. See if you can find His unusual gifts under your tree.

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Anonymous wrote:
Thank you for a nice article...

JM

12/21/2009 @ 8:32 PM

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