An Unusual Perspective on Christmas
By Stacie Ruth Stoelting
Okay. Yes, I've sung for and prayed with Sarah Palin. To share the
stage with her, to be blinded by cameras taking our pictures, and to be filmed for simply standing on a stage taught me much.
But Jesus' birth announcement proclaimed much: God isn't into fame. He loves us with more love than we could ever imagine!
You see, God didn't pick a Sarah Palin to carry His baby. (If you dislike Sarah, instead of sending me e-mails
simply "fill in the blank" with a famous woman leader of your choice.) Instead, He picked the Appalachian-like teen
Think of it: God really is not into the fame game. He loves us all the same. (Hey, that rhymed.
But it's true.)
The world is warped: Fame, romance, and money are the devil's imitations of God's offerings
to us. You see, God loves you and offers you eternal rewards. The devil's imitation elation will be destroyed and the folks
who opted for temporary temptations will be left holding the bag...of nothing but empty hearts.
the world's ways is like picking a burned out Christmas bulb instead of the galaxies of stars.
Sick of the
imitations? Want real love? The Word speaks eternal truth:
"This is how God showed his love to us: He sent
his one and only Son into the world so that we could have life through him. This is what real love is: It is not our love
for God; it is God's love for us. He sent his Son to die in our place to take away our sins."
believe the world or the Word today? It's one or the other, friends. Jesus loves you. Savor the Savior's love today. What's
the ultimate present of all presents? His presence.
That reminds me of the movie, The Ultimate Gift. I recently
befriended a screenwriter for that movie: Cheryl McKay co-wrote (with Rene Gutteridge) an amusing and insightful book, Never
the Bride (Random House, 2009). In it, they convey what it's like to deeply desire a husband yet wait.
same yearning compares to that of the world before Jesus arrived. With death, disease, and sin, it's pretty clear: This world
pines for a Savior!
Have you ever thought of Jesus' birth announcement as a wedding proposal? When Jesus
came, He came to offer a covenant relationship with God. Jesus is the ultimate Gift. May we unwrap His love this Christmas
and share it with all.
Oh, my readers, pause and praise! Think of it: He didn't have to love us. He didn't
have to love us so much that He sent His Son to live and die to allow us to die to the world and live as Heavenly citizens
traversing the earth. Oh, He didn't have to be willing to bear our burdens! He didn't have to be born here! But He did it
all and loves us so! How I love Jesus! And He loves everyone the same.
When Jesus met a skeptical, hard woman
with a very spicy past, He offered love and living water for her dehydrated heart:
"Jesus replied, 'If
you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.'"
(Bold-face added; John 4:10, NLT)
Will you give your heart and receive His gift this Christmas? Choose Jesus.
(Click here to do it now
.) Once you know Jesus, you know Christmas in your heart.
The Message paraphrase of John 3:34-36 paints quite
a vivid picture of what Christmas offers when Jesus shared about His love:
"The One that God sent speaks
God's words. And don't think he rations out the Spirit in bits and pieces. The Father loves the Son extravagantly. He turned
everything over to him so he could give it away-a lavish distribution of gifts. That is why whoever accepts and trusts the
Son gets in on everything, life complete and forever! And that is also why the person who avoids and distrusts the Son is
in the dark and doesn't see life. All he experiences of God is darkness, and an angry darkness at that."
"A lavish distribution of gifts" awaits believers in Jesus: We experience supernatural help and love while here
on earth and undying life and rewards hereafter.
While the star was amazing for the wise men, it merely pointed
to the Star of the universe. Think of what Jesus said in Revelation 22:16 (AMP):
"I am the Root (the Source) and
the Offspring of David, the radiant and brilliant Morning Star."
By the way, when I was singing at the
Sarah Palin event, I wasn't really singing for her or the cameras. I was singing for Jesus. He's the Star of the universe!
Think of that the next time you look up at the bright star atop your tree.