Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Gift Fit for a King

An Inkling
“Yo, Mr. Angel!  I need your help.  We drew names at church for a Christmas gift exchange, and – you’re not going to believe this – I drew Jesus.  Holy Holidays!  What should I get?  Talk about Someone who really does have everything!”
“What have you thought of so far?”
“Well, I remember the gifts that the wisemen brought:  gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  I thought maybe I’d try one of those.  I know he got them once already, but it’s been 2000 years – maybe he could use some more.”
“Well, actually, I’m not sure they really worked the first time.  The wisemen meant well, but they didn’t understand what sort of king Jesus would be.  What Jesus really needed at that point was not gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but food, blankets, and a place to stay.”
“Oh well.  It’s the thought that counts....  And I’m think­ing, but it’s not counting for much.”
“That's because you’re thinking about what to buy.  Think instead about what you already have.”
“Oh, I get it!  Jesus is into recycling!  That’s cool!  We have some stuff in our shed we’re not using anymore:  some hand me downs and old appliances.  They just need a little work and they’ll be ready to go.”
“I think you’re missing my point.  He still doesn’t need gold, frankincense, or myrrh, recycled or new, or really any kind of stuff.”
“Well then, I’m stumped.  What should I give him?”
“He’s not interested in what you have.  He’s interested in you.  How about giving yourself this Christmas?!”
“Hmmm.  That’s a little pricier than I was thinking.”
“Yep – it’s the cost of a gift money can’t buy.” 
“Of course, if I do give myself, at least I won’t have to worry about him getting two the same.”
“That’s for sure!  And I happen to know that you’re exactly what he wants for Christmas this year.”
And you – what will you be giving Jesus this Christmas?  He really wants only one thing: 


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Reason for Hallelujahs

An Inkling
Sentiment is fun.  And if ever there were a sentimental season, this is it.  Oohs and aahs flow forth as we set out our favorite decorations and gather as families, with a baby at the center of it all.  Great!  But the most that such sentimental things can elicit is a sigh of satisfaction.

On the night Jesus was born the joy went far beyond sighs of satisfaction.  It went over the top.  Why?  Perhaps these pictures can help us remember why – we are desperate for a Savior.
Riot police trying to contain chaos with force:  we need a Savior!
Even with all of our medical wizardry,  we can't
protect ourselves from all peril:  we need a Savior!
Girls sold like so much meat here and abroad:  we need a Savior!
The most powerful nation in the world driven by fear to great darkness,
with the knowing nods of almost all of us:  we need a Savior!
People who don't know their own darkness,
unleashing it with fury on others:  we need a Savior!
In our desperation we resort to horror,
and try to cover it all with euphemism:  we need a Savior!
Even in my best moments, I'm still self-centered and self-serving,
and those best moments are rare:  I need a Savior!
Whole choirs of angels don’t fill the sky with song and light for the sake of season’s sentiments.  They do so because the world which so desperately needs a Savior now has one.  Now that’s a reason for Hallelujahs!
Merry Christmas,