Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Category: Christmas Ponderings (page 2 of 2)

Guest Post: Rejoice!

Kara Byrne blogs at Byrnelove.
Christmas PonderingsRejoice as the poor shepherds, who were doing their jobs, minding their sheepish business  when glory surprised them.
Rejoice as the wise men who had ‘more money than God’ to travel halfway around their world to bow in reverent adoration.
Rejoice as Simeon and Anna, the forever faithful, who had seen a lifetime of events, but held on to the hope that they would see the most desired event of their lifetime.
Rejoice as the oblivious Bethlehem visitors, who rested from their taxing journey and awoke to find a new visitor amongst them.
Rejoice as the single innkeeper who offered what he had, instead of thinking of what he had not.
Rejoice as the angels, who knew it was coming, who had heard the preparations being made within the chambers of heaven, who couldn’t keep in it any longer and who had to wake up the neighborhood with their songs of celebration.
Rejoice as Joseph, who was the frightened and uncertain father, the earthly surrogate of a holy son.
Rejoice as Mary, the humble mother, who was road weary and child-birth worn. The simplest, purest mother of the purest, royalest son.
Rejoice, whoever you are…it’s old joy, it’s new joy. It’s His joy… it’s our joy.

Guest Post: The Greatest Gift

Brock Weigel is a student at Randolph-Macon College. There he is a Bailey Scholar, discerning a call to ordained ministry. 

Read Matthew 1:18-25

Christmas PonderingsThings I Would Like for Christmas:

  • A New Bike
  • Video Games
  • Comic Books
  • Drumsticks

It would feel almost too cliche to say “Jesus is the best gift ever received on Christmas.” However, the statement is true. Matthew 1:18-25 tells the story of how Joseph was convinced that he was to raise the Son of God. He literally received THE Christmas present, right into his arms.

As a drummer, I often feel like I need certain things to be happy. I think I need new sticks after I break my old ones; new heads when they become dented; and a sound system to hear a guitarist over all my noise. When Christmas comes around, I selfishly hope to receive such things, as though I earned them for surviving until December yet again. I even convince myself that these things are necessary in order for me to praise the Lord by playing at Church.

As great as it feels on the occasions that I do get new drumsticks, one Christmas I received a gift that truly surprised me. I was given an entire, brand new drum set. A complete overhaul! I hadn’t asked for a drum set. I had asked for sticks or other equipment. My parents knew me well enough that they were able to buy me something they knew I would really enjoy, without me having to ask.

“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” -Matthew 7:11

I did not include that verse to say that my parents are anything less than incredible. Matthew 7 contrasts the earthly gifts that we as Creation give to each other against the heavenly gifts our Father bestows upon us. My parents were able to give me a drum set. My God was able to give me loving parents. How much greater then was God’s gift?

I have a laundry list of things I desire, and I have needs to fulfill, such as eating. But we know that “man cannot live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (from Matthew 4:4) What we truly need always comes from our thirst for God. Having created us, he already knows what we like and require, even before we ourselves do so. Though I have a list of things I would be happy to receive for Christmas, God knows even better.

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