Holiday Blues

downloadHolidays are hard for some…family peeps and pups may be sensitive at Christmas with all the comings and goings. Words of wisdom for all who witness sadness. We all know of people who are going through a hard time. We have seen women who are  irritable, defensive, and angry. When the evidence of depression shows up, it is our place to flash a smile of compassion. We simply let His love break through the dark cloud. The sad face that looks up is warmed.  My neighbor is irritable, over reactive, and difficult to be around. His grief is ruling and I step back to give him space while I ask God to shower him with a deluge of tender kindness. A girlfriend’s emotions flare up with a show of dramatics. Her unrestrained tongue lashes out and I am careful to not give advice, but to just listen as I dispatch the Holy Spirit to dog-with-holiday-blues1calm the quakings of her outburst.   The person I sit next to in church weeps silent tears. She fidgets in response to the message of love. Her fear that she is unworthy begs for comfort. Boldly I whisper a prayer that our Father give me the courage to hug her.  The clerk at the grocery store is slow and downcast. He is old and weary of another holiday without enough. The holiday blues has overcome his countenance and I tip him with a generous smile. We all are aware of others who carry all their burdens on their faces. The woman who is loud, bossy and demanding. We how compassion on her because he may be riding a wild hormone roller coaster. Our impulse to scream or retreat is stilled by the Presence of God. Wisdom floods us as we bite our tongue when we feel like biting back. Our calming smile quickly soothes as we pray for God to touch her emotions. When we allow God’s ever present Love to speak and shine through us, His Peace hovers over the people He places in front of us. He calms, He heals, and He loves the hurting through us. Miracles happen in front of us and within us. God delivered us from our dark doom, and He continues to use us to help people get through any holiday blues. Rejoice in Him always! Look ahead with the perfect 2020 vision of God.

2 thoughts on “Holiday Blues

  1. Christmas is a celebration of Truth born. It is the perfect time to seek and find Jesus alive as the Light of Hope shining in the darkness. Jesus, Immanuel, God among us, a Messianic prophecy fulfilled. “Therefore Adonai Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin will conceive. When she is giving birth to a son, she will call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

    Immanuel, God with us. This promise to come and be with us does not just suddenly appear in Isaiah 7 – God’s intention to come and live among us is transcribed all throughout Scripture. Our Father’s plan included a Way to restore our human tendency to doubt, reject, rebel, cheat, lie, run, hide, hate and do evil.

    Consider the temporary tent of meeting
    way back in the Garden of Eden. God and Adam walked together in the cool of the day. Their close fellowship is something that God’s heart still longs for. Our Father grieved when that intimacy was lost. His love and desire to restore all that was lost is in place. Our Father made a Way in which sin can be dealt with and our fellowship restored:

    “I will set My Tabernacle among you, and My soul will not abhor you. I will walk among you and will be your God, and you will be My people.”(Leviticus 26:11-12) We see God literally pitching up His tent right in the middle of the camps of Israel, with a fully functioning sin-disposal system in order that He can be among them. He walks with them, and accompanies them with a pillar of cloud and fire, and makes His desire for closeness and connection abundantly clear. But even more than a temporary tent, God had a greater plan: “‘Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will live among you’—it is a declaration of Adonai. In that day many nations will join themselves to Adonai and they will be My people and I will dwell among you.’ Then you will know that the LORD of Hosts has sent me to you.” (Zechariah 2:14-15)

    This remarkable prophecy is spoken by the LORD, but read it again carefully…He says that the LORD sent Him. God will come and live among us, and yet He is sent by the LORD! Hey? It happens again in Isaiah: “Draw near to Me, hear this: Since the beginning, I have not spoken in secret. From the time it existed, I was there. So now Adonai Elohim has sent Me, and His Spirit.” (Isaiah 48:16)

    This plan that God would send God to live among us has been in place since the dawn of time. The Eternal One who was there since the beginning has been sent by the LORD, and His Spirit. AWE is appropriate as we consider that our holy Father desires to personally draw close and be with us. Immanuel, God among us, came to earth to become the final sacrifice. The King of kings comes in disguise? The Jewish leaders were not expecting the Messiah to show up in such a humble manner. The King, Creator of all things stood in their midst, disguised in humility looking like an ordinary Jewish carpenter from Nazareth. I heard a young child say that Jesus was “God with skin on”, and that’s a pretty good summary of the incarnation.

    The idea of a virgin giving birth shocked people! Humanly it is impossible, yet God can do all things. Our heavenly Father is not known for avoiding the outrageous. He dares people to believe. He confounds the wise with His extra ordinary ways. God who created the universe would not show up in an entirely ordinary manner. Even the Jewish Sages had a saying, “The redeemer whom I shall raise up from among you, will have no father” (Genesis Rabbah of Rabbi Moshe haDarshan).

    Is the virgin birth a fairytale or a fulfilled Bible prophecy? God was made manifest, which is what glory is all about. God’s glory came to us in the Messiah, in the person of Jesus, full of grace and truth because he is God in the flesh. “The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. We looked upon His glory, the glory of the one and only from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) ahhh, intimacy with our Father again at last. God’s great plan to visit was in order to pave the way for unending togetherness. He dealt with sin once and for all, so that anyone who wanted could be cleansed of the sin that separates and restored in relationship with Him. Imagine what it will be like when we are truly WITH GOD forever. His Word reveals that our Father is looking forward to it with great joy.

    “Behold, the dwelling of God is among men, and He shall tabernacle among them. They shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them and be their God. He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more. Nor shall there be mourning or crying or pain any longer, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev 21:3-4) “One for Israel” blog

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  2. Why a stone manger? Everything God does has significance. Ever ❤️ amazed by our Father’s premeditated love for us. A manger is a stone watering trough. In ancient Israel, they were made of stone. Sheep only drink from still waters, not rushing rivers. Living Water….That’s why experts -priests who lived near Bethlehem, near a hill known for raising sacrificial lambs- would put lambs in them. Not all the lambs; just the ones they thought were without blemish and suitable for the blood sacrifices that took place twice a day. Sacrifices to cover sin. These were the lambs Bethlehem was famous for. There was a hill there with a tower, “Migdal Eder”, and the flocks nearby were the ones that yielded lambs for sacrifice. The priests wanted to keep the lambs without bumps and bruises. So they’d wrap them up tightly. They’d swaddle them, wrapping them in cloths, like precious and terribly fragile bottles of wine. And they’d lay them in a manger. “Manger” is only mentioned in one account of Jesus’ birth. (It’s in Luke.) And it makes sense. There’s really only a small group of people who would understand it’s significance. And they are the very ones who hear the words: “You will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger.” Shepherds! The shepherds of the sacrificial flock. They knew what the cloths and the manger meant.

    “This will be a sign to you,” the angel said. And it was. It wouldn’t have been a sign to many. But to them? Most definitely. And this sign was staggering. The long-expected King wasn’t headed to a palace. No, this was going to be different. He was going to be sacrificed.

    They knew where the Messiah was born… but they also knew where He was headed.

    “Peace on earth, and mercy mild
    God and sinners, reconciled.”
    Brant Hansen

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