Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. Matthew 25:13
I love Tuesday’s! That’s the day students file in, find a seat and get ready for “Tuesday Tunes”! The process is very simple and I’m amazed each week at how something so simple can be so fun and powerful. After I play a song we talk about what God might be speaking to us through the lyrics. I’m always amazed at the way some kids react and respond. I’m continually surprised at how the same set of words can mean something so different to each of them; and the way some of them dig half-way to China and grab a deep nugget of wisdom and insight never ceases to amaze me!
The Tuesday before Christmas break I played a song called Born In Me by Francesca Battestelli. If you haven’t heard it make sure you head over to YouTube when you’re done reading to check it out; it’s an incredible song. When the song finished there was just silence in all four classes. They were thinking and studying the image of the Baby Jesus at the end of the song. It was pretty amazing to see a room full of middle lovelies just entranced by a song. There was a line in the song that said “I will hold you in the beginning and you’ll hold me in the end.” Several said that was Mary talking simply saying Mary held Jesus when he was a baby and then Jesus will hold her in his arms when she comes to heaven. One dug really deep and said he thought it was God speaking to us saying “I held you in my hands and made you in my image as I created you and after you have lived your life well on earth, you will return to me and I will hold you again.” May I remind you this child was 12! Amazing!
Another line they found powerful was the line that said “I’ll make my heart your Bethlehem” What a beautiful thought! A few of the middle lovelies were sure that meant that Jesus came to Bethlehem the first Christmas but as he finished his life on earth we simply celebrate his return to our hearts each Christmas. Beautiful…and then another one said; “We have to work really hard to make sure our heart is pure, clean and wide open because if our heart is to be his home, we don’t want him to find there is no room at the inn again!”
The kids picked up on the line that said, “If You’re pleased with me why am I so terrified?” I loved the thoughts on this line. There were the obvious ones like, she was afraid of what her Joseph, her parents and family would say and she was afraid of the unknown. But then it happened…someone went in a direction I’d never considered and said, “I think Mary was terrified because she wanted to make sure she could protect God’s son. I can’t always protect my iPod and my cat; I can’t imagine how scared I would be to be in charge of Jesus! I just think she was afraid to disappoint God because disappointing your parents is really a bad feeling.”
The last line that really struck them said “The only thing my heart can offer is a vacancy.” One class fell silent when a very humble and honest young man said, “I don’t even think I can offer that most of the time. I spend too much time being selfish, playing and doing what I want to that I don’t think there is enough room in my heart for Jesus.” Holy Cow! I think he spoke for all of us and opened the door for amazing discussion on the ways we can make sure our heart can offer a vacancy to the Newborn King.
It was more powerful than you average Tuesday that’s for sure! If you’re looking for a new way to sit in quiet prayer you might try a Tuesday Tune of your own…on any day you like. Just play it and see what lines hit your heart and then spend some prayerful minutes just pondering the words and the message.
A Seed To Plant: Find Born In Me and give it a prayerful listen.
Blessings on your day!
For unto us a child is born...Isaiah 9:6
As we enjoy these days of Christmas we should take some time to focus our thoughts and prayers on God’s gift of perfect love; His Son. Love is, after all the only reason God could possibly have for lavishing such a sinful people with such an extraordinary gift.
Many things have come along over the years that have changed the world. Henry Ford’s Model-T weighed 1,450 pounds and it changed the way the world moved. The first washing machine weighed over 250 pounds and it made cleaning things easier. The first computer weighed nearly one ton and it gave the world access to more knowledge and communication. As valuable, helpful and convenient as these and other modern changes are, they haven’t always changed our life for the better. In fact sometimes changes in our world just muddy up the water and clutter our focus. Bigger, faster and more convenient isn’t always better. Sometimes all these changes lead us away from the love, peace and joy God sent His Son to this earth to bring us.
The most significant change for the people of God’s earth weighed only seven pounds and arrived in the most humble surrounding imaginable. There was no million dollar marketing scheme to prepare us for His arrival. There was no multi-million dollar Super Bowl commercial to get us all hyped up about His coming. There was simply a seven pound miracle that came to change EVERYTHING! If we would embrace it and all the Christ Child brought us, we could move through our days with hearts overflowing with joy. We would travel through life here on earth more easily than the first passengers in a Model-T. If we opened ourselves to God’s mercy and forgiveness, we would be washed whiter than any garment to pass through even the most efficient washing machine. If we would share the love that little seven pound wonder came to bring us, we would speak and act with more wisdom and knowledge than any computer could generate. Maybe, if we would slow down this Christmas to absorb the absolute Wonder and Awe of the coming of Christ, we would begin to find our balance and see that God sent His Son to earth to change us significantly.
A seed to plant: Take time this Christmas to gaze at the Christ Child in the manger and ask God to help you see what changes are needed to draw closer to Him. It’s ok to start small, after all the biggest change ever only weighed seven pounds.
Blessings on your day!
…you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Luke 2:12
Social media can be crazy but it can also be awesome! I have some amazing stuff pop up on my twitter page and my Facebook newsfeed. Sometimes it’s stories that bring hope, sometimes it’s a quick scripture or quote that jolts my thinking or my heart and sometimes it’s just plain funny, laugh out loud kinda stuff. It’s funny how just when I need a laugh or a lift the most, something pops up at just the perfect time. Friday afternoon I was running out of gas; my emotions, my energy, my joyfulness…all of it was running on fumes. Right before I left school I sat down at my desk to check messages and send a couple of quick emails and I found a little clip that made me laugh so hard in the quiet building I think I frightened the janitor.
The link to this little clip will be at the bottom of this post so you can giggle too. If you have a minute (literally) you might want to scroll down and watch it before you continue reading. The video features two tiny girls playing the roles of Mary and a sheep in a Christmas Pageant and a hilarious fight over the Baby Jesus. As the two tumble and tussle fighting for the doll it made me think of our daily struggles to put a little more Jesus in our life.
The first thing I thought when I watched the clip was; what would my life look like if I worked as hard to capture Jesus as the little sheep did? She knew she wanted Jesus and she planned, pounced and protected. The look of sheer delight on her face as she danced with Jesus in her arms was endearing. It made me wonder how much more content and joyful I’d be if I imagined dancing in the arms of Jesus like the little sheep. She defended Baby Jesus and she wasn’t afraid to laugh and run around like he was her prized possession. I sure think my imitation of that little sheep would change things!
The little girl who played Mary had a lesson for me too. Her first reaction was shock but it didn’t take her long to spring into action. It’s funny how she hesitated for a quick second as if formulating a plan that was as peaceful as possible. She very easily could have taken the sheep out at the knees, instead, she was trying to be dignified but driven. More often than I’d like to admit I charge off full speed either in my actions or my judgmental thoughts and don’t take a quiet second to think things through. She became the Baby Jesus’ protector, trying to return him to his rightful spot. She didn’t give up; she didn’t wait for Joseph or one of the shepherds to step in and handle the problem, she just went after Jesus trying to make sure he had the honor and respect he was due. There are a couple lessons in discipleship there that I should ponder.
The wonder of Christmas never gets old. Something about children, including Baby Jesus, and their innocence and cuteness just makes my heart happy. They are not filled with malice and they aren’t trying to deceive or impress…they just are. When I see the number of likes, shares and views on this little clip I’m filled with hope because I know others are stopping to watch, laugh and maybe ponder the birth of Jesus and that’s something truly worth pondering.
A Seed To Plant: Watch the video and spend some time pondering what we’re really preparing for these last few days of Advent.
Blessings on your day!
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