How Many Kings

Luke describes Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. The attitude of the crowd on Sunday is quite different from what it will be on Friday. Jesus is greeted with praise and honor. On Friday, the cheers have turned to jeers and cursing.  As I was reading through Luke I am reminded that none of this took Jesus by surprise. That Sunday as he was entering Jerusalem he what was going to happen on Friday. Jesus knew his purpose for coming.

How Many Kings by Downhere

Follow the star to a place unexpected
Would you believe, after all we’ve projected,
A child in a manger?
Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in his mother’s shawl –
Just a child –
Is this who we’ve waited for? ’cause…

How many kings step down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
And how many gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that is torn all apart
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?

Bringing our gifts for the newborn Savior
All that we have, whether costly or meek
Because we believe.
Gold for his honor, and frankincense for his pleasure
And myrrh for the cross he will suffer
Do you believe?
Is this who we’ve waited for?

All for me…
All for you…

Easter and Good Intentions

Well, it is almost 10 PM and I haven’t gotten a post for Easter written. I try to post something each day between Palm Sunday and Easter. However,  things just haven’t worked out as planned.  Between church, family and other responsibilities it is has been a busy week. According to the Big Guy it is one of the busiest weeks for a minister. I concur and would add for a minister’s family as well.  Anyway, back to this post. Today as I was thinking about what to write. It struck me that I was missing the point of Easter.

The point is that Christ his risen. He did what he said he  would do.   Because he has risen through faith we can have the hope and promise of life eternal.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3 ESV

Because He Lives by Matt Maher

Sounds of the Season 2013: Christmas

Just A Girl by Brandon Heath

2 At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them. Luke 2:1-20 New Living Translation

Emmanuel

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. Matthew 1:8-24

Emmanuel by Love and The Love & The Outcome

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Holy Week: Jesus Paid It All

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. (1 Peter 3:18, New International Version)

Jesus Paid it All performed by Kristian Stanfill

I hear the Savior say, “Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray, Find in Me thine all in all.”

Chorus:
Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

Lord, now indeed I find Thy power and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots And melt the heart of stone.

(Chorus)

And when before the throne I stand in Him complete,
“Jesus died my soul to save” my lips shall still repeat

(Chorus)

O Praise the one who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead
O Praise the one who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead
O Praise the one who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead
O Praise the one who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead

Thought for the Day

“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.” Stephen Colbert

Check out what Jesus said about the poor:

 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:37-40, New International Version)

History of Christmas

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ. Although many of the traditions associated with Christmas and even the day on which is celebrated have pagan origins.

Most likely Christ was not born on December 25th. The weather conditions at that time of the year would have made it unlikely Mary & Joseph would have been able to spend the night in the stable. The stable was not like the barns we think of today but rather a cave or other crude structure. December 25th comes from pagan winter festivals and was an attempt by the church to Christianize pagan customs.

The arrival of the Magi did not occur on the night of Christ’s birth. The Magi did not arrive until approximately two years after the birth of Christ. That is why in Matthew’s account of the Magi’s visit, King Herod had all of the boys under the age of two killed.

Knowing the actual date of Christ’s birth is not as crucial as understanding the significance of his birth. Understanding significance of his birth and the prophecies fulfilled by his birth, life, death and resurrection and who he was are is foundational to Christian faith.