When I rested below the tree,
Weighed down by the troubles of the world,
Little did I know,
That would be the Calvary’s tree which would save me.
And Lo! On the cross lay my Saviour who loves me.
A Love so deep, a love so pure,
Like never have any mankind felt before.
What did you see in me, I ask again,
To the one who tells me
His love for me is everlasting.
The heaven came down for me, to wipe away my tears,
But the world crucified him, without any kindness to spare.
What would I give back for this passion you showed me,
What would I do in return for the love you bestow on me,
The passion on the cross,
I will love thee back with all my heart, and my soul,
Oh! My Lord.
They’ve only been together since he turned 25 but he could swear even a day with her feels like a forever. When they went for their first date, she told him that she was obsessed with rain, hot chai and love. 4 more dates later, they had hot chai from the same cup. 45 years later, they’re madly in love.
It’s very similar to what listening to your favorite song for the ‘n’th time feels like; you know all of the lyrics but there are surprises. Once she wrote a letter (addressed “to bae”) while they lived in the same house. She posted it and waited for it to come back. Throughout the letter, she spoke about him as if he was her favorite chai and her favorite season.
He tries to think of a time when they weren’t together but he never can. That makes him very glad. He knows he lived 25 years without her but every time he thinks of some childhood memory, she’s always there in the frame; hiding behind curtains. It’s because he’s told her the story so many times that it no longer is only his.
Together, they have lived 140 years’ worth of memories. That sounds amazing!
He’s 70 and his forever can end any day. But they’re madly in love and it’s magical!
“And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god.” Daniel 1:2 NKJV
In this instance, the Babylonians raided the Temple of God and took the worship articles to the temple of god in Babylon (may have been Bel, also called Marduk). Those who loved the Lord must have felt disheartened and discouraged.
We feel greatly disappointed when our churches suffer physical damage, split or close down for financial reasons. We do not know why God allows His church to experience these calamities.
But like the people who witnessed the plundering of the House of God by the Babylonians, we must trust that God is in control and that He is watching over all who trust Him.
Jesus was crucified for us.
His death was not only a proof of His love for us, but also a proof of our salvation.
Because of that, we have eternal life.
What more could we ask?
Imagine the nativity scene… The stable was full that night Christ was born. His young parents had no idea what a key part of God’s plan they had become. The lowly animals were there. The first to receive the birth news directly from heaven’s angel choir were poor shepherds. The shepherds filled the stable to worship the King of Kings. And the wise kings who sought the child to worship Him and to bring offerings.
When I was seeing the pictures and posts of nativity sets on the social media a thought occurred. What if the stable had remained empty? What if God had just left the world in our sin and never came down to redeem us? God created us. God could have wiped the slate clean of His creation once we became broken by sin. He didn’t do that. He loved us so much that He sent His one and only Son. God is LOVE. John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
His life lived on this earth is the standard to look to. As was with His birth so was His life. He ministered to ALL. Luke 5:31-32 “Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” As He spoke to the Pharisees they were blind to the fact that they were sinners themselves. Even the self-righteous were a part of God’s plan. Their desire to have full control of “the law” and keep their religious power is what put Jesus on the cross.
Jesus died on the cross for ALL people and ALL sin. He even forgave the very ones who put Him there as he hung in pain. Luke 23:34 “Jesus said, “Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”” Jesus died and was buried and then three days later He rose to life fully defeating death and sin. Luke 24:5-6 ”Then, as the women were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, the two men in shining garments said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee,”
The tomb was empty that day because the stable had been full.
The deeper we understand our own sins and what Jesus took on that cross for us the deeper we understand the GRACE. We are called to love and share His light and good news with the world. Mathew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.””
This Christmas let’s remember that if it weren’t for a full stable there would not have been an empty tomb. Salvation, love, grace, anything good does not come from us. It is all about Jesus. He is our hope. We only make a difference when we allow Jesus to love through us.
When darkness seems to win
When the world is crumbling
When all I feel is doubt
When I can’t figure it out
Where are you now?
Where are you now?
Then I hear You say
Look up child
I hear You calling my name
Oh, I hear You say
Look up child
You are the water
When I am a wasteland
You are the river
When I am a desert
You are the fire
When I am the winter
What have I done to deserve love like this?