I was reading this morning about how Jesus hung out with tax collectors, sinners, prostitutes and disreputable people. In their best moments, the religious leaders of Jesus’ day thought that His choices for social interactions was weird. More often, the religious leaders were “unhappy” with Jesus’ social choices. Clearly, Jesus didn’t fit in with the religious leaders & was weird by their estimation.
On the flip side, it seems to me that Jesus was more accepted & fit in better with the people who were more obviously broken (sinners, tax collectors, prostitutes, etc). Maybe these disreputable people liked Jesus because He was weird. He was different from them, offering them genuine love that they had possibly never experienced.
When Jesus lived on earth, He modeled for us how to be good in a weird way – loving people genuinely. In my thinking, the work we do with Saving Moses and nightcare is wonderfully different & even weird because it’s an overtly tangible expression of genuine love 🙂
My kids have been working on their Christmas wish lists & I asked one of them yesterday if world peace was on his list – he chuckled 🙂
When I was growing up, I always wondered about the whole thing of Santa coming down the chimney & how he stayed so clean coming down so many dirty chimneys. Maybe he wore a haz-mat suit for the chimney dives 🙂
But when I’ve been thinking about what might be on God’s wish list, if God has such a thing. Perhaps God would like the inside of our lives to be clean, of course with God’s help. It seems to me that particularly during this season, we often dress up, fix our hair to be pretty & look good on the outside, but let’s not forget to let God help us to clean & fix up the inside of our lives as well. Cleaning out bitterness, strife, unforgiveness, animosity, impatience, . . . . cleaning out some junk in our hearts so that Jesus has room & space to maneuver in our lives without alot of clutter or interference 🙂
Sometimes I think that comfort can be debilitating. Comfort can be the path of least resistance, the lack of stretching and sometimes the lack of growing. It’s definitely possible that when Jesus, the Son of God, was a newborn that He was uncomfortable – but all to our benefit!
I find that when I get in uncomfortable situations, if I lean into the Holy Spirit, I’m not nearly as uncomfortable. I may be stretched, pushed to grow, improve and get stronger. But ultimately if I have to make a choice, I’d rather grow, get stronger, improve and mature than remain comfortable, even in this busy Christmas season 🙂
I live in Colorado & I just saw that there’s been another school shooting here at a high school in Denver. While I don’t really know very much about what is currently happening (because I’m writing this as the events are unfolding), these kinds of incidents can make us super anxious & jittery – especially for those of us who remember the columbine high school shooting.
Here are some helpful thoughts:
*praying is extremely important when we have crises happen
*be careful that your mind & worry don’t run away w you
*ask Jesus for peace
Whenever I go snowboarding, I’ve learned to check the weather forecast so I can be appropriately dressed. If it’s snowing, it helps to wear water repellant gear. If it’s cloudy, I try to remember to bring my flat light goggles. While you may find this to be boring, the principle remains that we need to prepare in advance for things that we know could be challenging or difficult. Sometimes if we know that we’re going to be in some tricky family situations (with Christmas around the corner), it helps to do some mental coaching ahead of time about the things we should or should not discuss. It helps to coach ourselves about our attitudes and some of our thinking so that when we get in some potential hotspots, we have done some preparation work ahead of time to help us with our words, actions and attitudes. Gear up my friends, in constructive ways, there could be some hotspots on the horizon in the next few weeks 🙂
When I was growing up, I remember a family vacation where my dad bought these giant copper pots because they were cheap & he wanted to use them as decoration in our house. Nevermind that we were in Egypt & that we’d have to carry these monstrosities on various planes, through airports, security, etc. After this experience, we made a family rule, “you buy it, you carry it.”
This rule makes me think that sometimes we buy into the lies that the devil tells us & then wind up carrying his junk. Don’t buy these lies, so you don’t have to carry the luggage J
Since we’re in the middle of the Christmas season, my kids have organized, refined, amended & advertised their wish lists version 4.5. Here’s an interesting twist: what if Santa had a wish list? What would Santa’s wish list look like? Perhaps Santa would like a chia pet or a vegamatic chopper ,)
More likely, Santa probably wants his reindeer & elves to work together without strife & division. If you think about it, both the reindeer & elves have some hefty responsibilities & the last thing Santa would want to deal with would be conflict among the elves or dissension with the reindeer. Perhaps our Heavenly Father has the same thing on His wish list this Christmas – maybe our Heavenly Father would be super pleased if the strife & conflict with His children was reduced or even eliminated. Let’s you & me make this goal (harmony with each other) one of our priorities so God can check this one off of His wish list – peace on earth & good will among men 🙂