Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Three Why Men?

Christmas has provide Addie an opportunity to learn a lot of new things, namely about the Christmas story and the people in the nativity. A few days ago I heard her playing in the living room. She was naming the people in the nativity. Addie was saying, "Here's the three Why men and Joefits (Joseph) and Murphy (Mary) and the Sheepaws (shepherds)." She went on to say with great enthusiasism, " is JESUS!" I was giggling behind my hand at her explanation of these people...she was close, but not quite. I got to thinking that we need to be more like that...
Some times we are so insistent on getting the unimportant things right. We want to be the "wisemen" or we put all our trust in the world's wise men. We go to them (Oprah, Dr. Phil or self-help books) before we ever even think of cracking our Bible or falling to our knees. Or, we venerate the qualities of beauty and youth that we think Mary had. We spend more time molding and manicuring our physique than worrying about the shape our hearts our in. Or, we justify our over committed work schedule with the good qualities that Joseph and the shepherds had in their time. Saying if they were us, they would HAVE to do the same. So what if it means skipping church or running our children ragged from one thing to the next. We are so insistent on looking for what we need everywhere else, when what we truly need is right in the middle...right in the little wooden feed trough. God and man, wrapped up in everyday rags. All we really need to do is call on the name of Jesus and to "get Him right."

Isaiah 9:2-7
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light.
For those who lived in a land of deep shadows—
light! sunbursts of light!
You repopulated the nation,
you expanded its joy.
Oh, they're so glad in your presence!
Festival joy!
The joy of a great celebration,
sharing rich gifts and warm greetings.
The abuse of oppressors and cruelty of tyrants—
all their whips and cudgels and curses—
Is gone, done away with, a deliverance
as surprising and sudden as Gideon's old victory over Midian.
The boots of all those invading troops,
along with their shirts soaked with innocent blood,
Will be piled in a heap and burned,
a fire that will burn for days!
For a child has been born—for us!
the gift of a son—for us!
He'll take over
the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
Strong God,
Eternal Father,
Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow,
and there'll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
He'll rule from the historic David throne
over that promised kingdom.
He'll put that kingdom on a firm footing
and keep it going
With fair dealing and right living,
beginning now and lasting always.
The zeal of God-of-the-Angel-Armies
will do all this.

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