Imagine That!

By , December 10, 2019

“The shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen,
which were just as they had been told.”
Luke 2:20 (NIV)

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As a child I well recall an expression of my mother’s that she often used with me in conversation. I would excitedly tell her of something that had just happened to me that filled me with wonder and excitement. The words would tumble out and I would speak as fast as I could. When I finished my story, breathless with excitement, Mom would calmly say, “Imagine that!”.

I was sure she joined in with my excitement and wonder at the matter relayed to her. Now, as a mature adult, I know better than to think my mother was genuinely astonished at my little stories so eagerly told. Yet, at times, adults will say, “Imagine that” when amazed at something told them.

As I read the story of the shepherds and their remarkable encounter, first with the angels, and then with the Child Himself, I am always touched by the words in the narrative, “…just as they had been told.” These angelic communications were the opposite of my childish ones to my mother. The ones who had revelations made to them did not say, “Imagine that.”, as a polite but unbelieving comment. Rather they might have said “Imagine that!” in astonishment.

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Who Went First?

By , December 8, 2019

 “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby,
keeping watch over their flocks at night.”
Luke 2:8 (NIV)

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I remember well listening to a member of a Christian cult who smugly announced that evangelical Christians have it all wrong when they think that the Magi were there when Jesus was born—as represented in all the manger scenes.

He argued that from the time the star appeared it would take some time for the Magi to figure out what it meant, pack their bags, and travel to Bethlehem.

He also argued that the fact Herod slaughtered boys in Nazareth two years old and under suggested they told Herod that it was two years since the star appeared.

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What United Nations?

By , December 7, 2019

“He shall be called…Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6

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The United Nations was an organization founded after WW II by 51 countries to foster international cooperation and promote peace among them. Since then it has grown to include many more nations and continues to try to help keep peace among member nations.

The sad reality is that the United Nations is not “united” and various member nations have made war against each other from time to time. Our world has known more wars in the last 100 years than in any previous time in history.

The British author H.G. Wells published a book The War to End Wars. He was speaking about World War 1 in his book. Sadly the human race seems doomed to go on making wars until the end of time.

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The Prodigal

By , December 6, 2019

“The younger one said to his father,
‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’
So he divided his property between them.
Luke 15:12 (NIV)

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I recall a story told to me by one of my professors. He was visiting a friend of his at his home. During dinner a knock was heard at the door. The friend of my professor rose and answered the door.

The person standing at the door was a police officer. The officer asked the man if he had a son by the name of Joey. The man said yes and the policeman said that the young man had been arrested for possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking.

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Where Can A Person Find Peace And Quiet?

By , December 5, 2019

“You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
 Psalm 16:11 (NIV)

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As a child I was rather noisy. Somehow my older brother and younger sister were peaceful children so I decided to make up for their silence. Often my mother would cry out in exasperation, “All I want is some peace and quiet.”

When my mother made that comment I knew she was inviting me to leave the house and play outside. Naturally I complied with her wishes lest I get into serious trouble.

In our text for today we read how the Psalmist speaks of something God gives him for this life and something else that God grants him for all eternity.

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