Dear Pastors, Missionaries, Chaplains and Friends,
Steve here…A week tonight is Christmas Eve; the day our Saviour was born and my 34th spiritual birthday. I can’t get over it. Thirty-four years ago I surrendered my life to Christ and I’ve been the recipient of God’s grace ever since. I have not been disappointed on the journey.
However, I remember the disappointment Marilyn and I experienced when we visited the town of our Saviour’s birth place.
· On our trip to the Holy Land, it was the biggest disappointment of the
· Our bus passed unkempt houses and derelict, broken down cars in the
· The gates to the Nativity Gardens were locked…the priest had gone into
town to a tavern and would NOT come back to open the gates.
· The whole day seemed a waste, a big disappointment.
· Two thousand years earlier, Joseph and Mary had followed a STAR to this
little known village called Bethlehem.
· They, too, were met with disappointment; no inn had a vacancy!
· However, an animal stall was made available to them.
· A small beacon of hope began to flicker.
· For in this small, damp, dirty animal stall, the Saviour of the world was
· The birth place of a king; think about that!
· God as a baby?!?
· It’s so unbelievable to ponder; the very thought!
· God as a helpless Infant, unable to talk or eat solid food…or even hold his
· It’s unbelievable! So inconceivable that only God could have imagined it
and come up with this amazing plan.
· If we had been part of the creative plans for our Saviour’s birth, we would
have presented Him as a valiant, charismatic hero, born in the great city of
· Not in some back-water, never-heard-of-village called Bethlehem.
· BUT, God chose humble beginnings for our Saviour.
· He would grow up and claim some extraordinary things about Himself.
· He would claim He was DIVINE.
o Mohammad revealed himself as a Prophet,
o Buddha was a self-proclaimed Philosopher and Guide,
o Moses was an appointed messenger and Law-Giver,
o Only JESUS reported to be God in the flesh.
· He communicated this by referring to Himself as the “I AM”.
· Almighty God had told Moses to call Him: “I AM who I AM”.
· Calling Himself “I AM” was Jesus’ NOT so subtle way of identifying Himself
· God had come to town to feed the spiritually hungry and heal the spiritual
sickness we all suffer from.
· In John 14:6, Jesus refers to Himself: “I AM THE LIFE”.
· He’s not A life, but THE life.
· He is the SOURCE of all life. He gives us MEANING.
· We derive spiritual life from Him and only Him.
· And we gain this life through His death!
This is the particular point He seeks to make…when in John 11:25, Jesus refers to Himself: “I AM the resurrection and the Life”.
Christmas is about a cradle, but also the cross. May you have a blessed Christmas and glorious New Year. My next “Word from Steve” will come on Monday, January 7, 2013.
Have a blessed week,