So, here’s the over dinner joke I heard last week. A woman steps up to the ticket counter at the airport checking 3 pieces of luggage. And she explains, “I’d like the blue one to be sent to Omaha. The red one to Chicago. The yellow one to Buffalo.” The very gracious airline customer representative interrupts her and says, “I’m sorry ma’am, but we can’t do that.” To which she replies, “I don’t know why not. That’s where you sent them the last time I flew.”
Lots of destinations.
Lots of destinations in the Christmas story, too!
The destination for pregnant Mary and Joseph was Bethlehem. Aligning with the decree of Caesar Augustus, the god of the day. Of course, unbeknownst to the great Caesar, his decree was aligning with a much greater missionary God and His centuries old prophecies regarding Messiah.
The destination for the herald angel was shepherds in their fields at night.
Same destination for heavenly hosts of angels, the first to go Christmas caroling, bringing glory to God in the highest.
The destination for the quietly watching shepherds is Bethlehem, curious to witness what’s been heralded by the angels.
The shepherds’ new destination is going and telling, probably over the hills and everywhere.
Mary has gone far enough. Holding newborn baby Jesus, Mary simply ponders.
A couple reflections…
I don’t think I ponder enough! Quietly ponder the incarnation: The eternal, omnipotent God of the heavens showing up personally, intimately, as the result of a missionary God sending His Son in pursuit of people like me separated by sin.
There’ll be more than a few Christmas sermons preached on the shepherds telling everyone. Going… Telling… Over the mountains… Everywhere… Truth be told, there’s not much telling of Jesus by most worshipers once the pulpit preaching concludes. In a church-going culture the invitation to come to church carried the day. Today, most have not been discipled to engage a less interested world in a way that brings tidings of great joy or good news.
Finally, this Christmas…
A simple thanks from Gail and me for being in the PLI family. We desperately need leaders like you today that are growing in character and competency for this challenging season. Gaining greater clarity about who you are and how you can lead. Discipling and mentoring others. Because most churches simply don’t have enough leadership horsepower to take on their greatest challenges (yes, they’re big challenges) today and they helplessly drift farther from their well-intended wishes for a different congregational future.
Thank you for making your end of year gift that’s being generously matched… If you have. And, if you haven’t yet, your gift–small gift, large gift, any type of gift–will be strategically used…and will be matched.
Heartfelt Giving is worth checking out for Christmas shopping, and the “Create a Mall” will give you the information you need for leveraging this for your fundraising for the youth gathering or mission venture.
Rev. Dr. Jock Ficken