This Christmas; Party from the Inside Out

Photo Credit Saz-b Unsplash

Everyday my 5yr old grandson informs me how many days it is to Christmas, he is definitely excited this year. His kindergarten class had a Christmas pajama party to end the semester; even the teacher was in pj’s. Problem was, when it was time to leave school, and tables were being clean off, my grandson wasn’t ready to leave the party. The only way to get him out of there was to make a up a treat bag and take the party with us.

Another Kind of Party

Elizabeth (mother of John), had her own little party when Mary (mother of Jesus) came to visit her in the hill country of Judah. Mary was barely pregnant and probably not showing a visible bump, while Elizabeth was already at six months. Kind of hard to hide a six month pregnant bump, but Mary wasn’t surprised in the least as Gabriel, the angel had already informed her.

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s voice greeting her, the baby she was carrying leaped in her womb. “She was filled with the Holy Spirit, and sang out exuberantly.” You can read the words of her song in Luke chapter one. Here is a portion of the song as recorded in the Message Bible.

” The moment the sound of your greeting entered my ears, The babe in my womb skipped like a lamb for sheer joy. Blessed woman, who believed what God said, believed every word would come true!”

Oh and Mary’s response was, “I’m bursting with God-news; I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.” Again you can read the rest of the response in Luke 1.

The Party Continues

Mary, Elizabeth and the yet to be born John were not the only ones filled with joy. Luke 2 tells us about a group of shepherds who were watching over their sheep at night when an angel appeared to them and told them about the birth of Jesus. No sooner had the angel told them when he (the angel), was accompanied by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises.

Immediately after the angels went back to heaven the shepherds went to Bethlehem and found Jesus exactly where the angel had said.

When the shepherds returned to the sheep pasture, they were changed men. Seeing one angel is impressive, but a huge angelic host singing praises to God is another level of awesome…

…and the best was yet to come.

It was seeing Jesus, their Messiah that changed them. “The shepherds returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!”

Party From the Inside Out

I am so thankful for the Son of God leaving the glory of heaven, willingly taking on human form to live among His creation. A life that would lead Him to His physical death on a cross. His death bought spiritual life for all who would accept His sacrifice.

Now, that is cause to celebrate this Christmas season. May we Let Loose, glorifying and praising God. Singing His song and may we sing it exuberantly.

Taking the party with us wherever we go.

Merry Christmas to you and your family from me and mine.

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance.

Pausing for a few weeks, see you all back at Grace Lace and Polkadots in the new year.

 

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Radical Love: Part 2

I am so thankful for Jesus. Thankful for His willingness and obedience to pay for my sin on the cross. Thankful also that the story does not end with a battered and bruised bloody corpse, laying lifeless wrapped in linen on a cold tomb slab.

It was early in the morning, when Mary and several other women came with spices and perfumes to use on Jesus’ dead body.  They wondered how they were going to roll away the stone? Think heavy stone, not a small boulder. Oh what a shock they had when they got there!

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. Matthew 28:2-4

If I had been with these women I too would of been surprised to see the stone rolled away. But oh my gosh! An angel! Really! Scripture tells us we sometimes entertain angels unaware, but these ladies were very much aware of what/who was sitting on the rolled away stone before their eyes. No mistaking his appearance, this being was glowing! Looks like the guards who was on duty to ensure no one stole Jesus’ body were pretty shocked too.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just like he said. Come see the place where he lay. Matthew 28:5,6

In Matthew 28:7 The angel goes on to tell them to go quickly and tell the disciples that Jesus is risen from the dead. Afraid but filled with joy they ran (vs 8) Yep! think I would be running with the wonderful news too. They were instructed to tell the disciples to meet in Galilee where they would see Jesus.

Oh my gosh, look what I found in vs 9 & 10. Seriously I must have read this scripture many times over the years but only now is it popping off the page. Jesus meets with the women as they were on the way to the disciples.

Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

When the eleven disciples met with Jesus on the mountain in Galilee they too worshiped Him (see vs 16,17). He told them in vs 18 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…

…He then goes on to give them the great commission.

But wait! What happened between Friday’s crucifixion and Sunday’s resurrection? Well, He had keys to take back. Keys that Adam and Eve had unknowingly handed over to Satan. The keys that allowed death to enter. Jesus had paid the price and the keys now belonged to Him.

The Ever-Living One [living in and beyond all time and space]. I died, but see, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of [absolute control and victory  over] death and Hades (the realm of the dead) Revelation 1:18

Get this He not only took the keys back but He made a spectacle of the spiritual forces.

He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets. Colossians 2:15

A victory parade indeed!

In Acts 1 Paul tells us that Jesus (after His resurrection) appeared to the disciples over a forty day period teaching them about the kingdom of God. I imagine they were ready to listen and believe more so than in the previous three years. But time came when Jesus needed to leave earth and return to heaven.

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. vs9

The awesome news is He is coming back!

They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. Men of Galilee, they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Meanwhile, as we wait for His return we can be assured that nothing and no-one can separate us from the love that God has for us. Jesus paid the price, the deal was closed. Anyone who excepts His gift of salvation becomes family, His family. Sealed with His blood.

In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39 NIV

We, you and I are radically loved. Live in His love!

From my family to yours

Have a wonderful Easter Sunday

Helena

Looking to Jesus. Living in His Radiance.

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