Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Preparing for Christmas

Remember how this blog first started?  If you're new here, read the story about how it all began:  Nine Little Words.

I still ask the question.

"How can I ask God to bless you today?"

I do know it has been an adventure -- stepping out of my comfort zone to open up conversation.  A question seeming so simple to ask yet so difficult when truly moved and prompted to do so.  It has been a question that has opened up my eyes to a world and people -- His children -- who long for someone to just care even a little bit.

But what I haven't done is venture further out from my local stores and restaurants.  Perhaps it's become too easy and comfortable again.  Could I really make a difference or an impact if I stepped out a little further and really asked, "How can I ask God to bless you today?"

Perhaps I'm too afraid of what God would show my heart. Perhaps.

What if I was in little Bethlehem all those centuries ago?  Who would I ask? How would I respond?  Would I even think to approach shepherds in a field?  Regardless of their faithfulness to their work, they were known to be thieves and foul mouthed men.  As a woman, of course I wouldn't approach them alone but would I look down on them from a distance...judging them?  Would I be a "good" Jewish woman and consider myself too good because shepherds had such a dirty job and they were considered "unclean"?

What if those very shepherds were asked, "How can I ask God to bless you today?"

What do you think their response would be?

Personally, I believe God listened to their hearts every time they were given a look by "good" people when they went into the marketplace to buy food or supplies.  I believe in the loneliness and poverty of their jobs they had time to question God and ask if He would ever bless them.

I believe He answered.

From the book by David Jeremiah, Why the Nativity?

Question #14
"Why the shepherds?"
He writes:
"Men whose skin glistened with sweat, whose clothes gave off the stench of the fields; those who lacked the most basic manners, who used language unfit for your children's ears; minimum wage earners who were unlikely to be admitted to any respectable establishment of the time -- on this night they were favored by heaven."
I don't know about you but the above words brought me to tears.

Instead of giving you more of my insight from Dr. Jeremiah's book, I'm going to give you his discussion questions and suggestion for further reading.  Trust me. They made me think.
  1. Who would be the equivalent of shepherds in society today? Why?
  2. How do you respond to these people when they intersect your daily life? What could you do to improve that?
For further study: Read John 10:1-11. What other reason might there be for Jesus' birth being announced first to the shepherds?

Continuing to prepare for Christmas.

Next: Why the Angels?

Here is the link for Why the Nativity?

  Maybe you'll get it in your stocking?

Blessings for your day,

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