Monday, December 20, 2010

Gloria In Excelsius Deo

Yesterday's sermon was timely, and left me thinking all day long and into today. I love those kinds of lessons. Why are we not awed by Christmas? The real meaning of Christmas. Perhaps we're too caught up in the secular celebrations. Shopping, gift-giving, parties, and eating. Perhaps Christmas just seems like a story read in a book, and we don't find it applicable today. Yes, we agree, a savior was born, but that was long ago, and it's irrelevant to us.

Is it? I've often wondered, 'How could He have been born during their time, and they just didn't know? They just didn't understand whom He was? Whom He is?' As the visiting pastor explained, the Jews missed Jesus as the Savior because their problems weren't big enough. They were law-keepers, upright and moral. They didn't recognize the condition of their hearts. Didn't know they needed saving from themselves. Do we? Do I ?

"We tend to think that our problems are outward, and physical, and circumstantial. If we think that, we'll be looking for the wrong Messiah. If we realize how sick our hearts are, we realize that we need a Savior who can heal us." -Brad Rogers

He went on to say that most people today want a Savior who understands them, excuses their behavior because of what they've been through in the past. They want someone to listen, because they don't understand themselves just how sick they are, how much they sin against God every moment of every hour of every day.

We want to be understood, but do we understand that Jesus, who lived with the Father in heaven, was incarnate, and lived a very humble life on this earth to save us from ourselves? He gave up perfection, and comfort, and lowered himself to be born in a filthy stable. He didn't live in palaces where he belonged, but walked the dusty, dry streets of the earth to free us. He gave His all, his very life, that we might live. Does that give you pause, or do you find it to be mundane?

This year, more than ever before, my eyes are being opened to what He suffered through to free me from my sins. From myself. From my wicked, wretched heart. I need mercy above all else, and He came freely to give it to me.

Glory to God in the highest!

Counting my blessings today. Gifts #337- 348

~ a grown son, home for the Christmas holiday
~ five A's and one B, resulting in his best GPA in college yet, even during his toughest semester
~ laughter and singing filling the house
~ Scrabble game after Scrabble game
~ Christmas parties
~ brothers and sisters bonding
~ big pots of soup
~ Christmas plays
~ sleeping in
~ chair rail in the dining room- finally installed
~ understanding who I am, and that I need to be saved
~ a Savior who felt I was worth the price He had to pay

Join us?


Sharon said...

I really enjoyed this, Tracy. Thank you so much for sharing it!

Danielle said...

Wonderful thoughts to think upon with beautiful photography!

StitchinByTheLake said...

I've been reading back through your posts and enjoyed them so very much. We also sponsor a child through Compassion and for several years now our adult children, my husband and I have not given each other gifts but instead have pooled our money to give to someone else. Currently we're giving it to a young family - the mother has MS, they have 3 children plus now a 4th they adopted as a special needs child from foster care, and they have 2 foster babies as well. We are humbled by all that family does and the little we can do to help makes Christmas real to us. I also loved seeing your stored food list - we're not able to have a garden but I do try to put food back, buying on sale and canning what I can get. blessings, marlene

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

This is beautiful Tracy! Lovely photos as well...

Jodi said...

Sometimes we lose focus that ...

...we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. Isaiah 64:6

Yet despite that, He loves us still. How good He is to us.

So glad your family is once again gathered together.

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