Raoul’s 2 Cents
Time stood stilI at the top tier of the church risers last Saturday. Maybe it was the light glistening on the musical instruments. Or maybe it was the exuberance of the conductor. Whatever it was, I realized all this buzz was in preparation of the birth of one individual. For the uninformed, it must be a strange sight to watch grown ups behaving like kids waiting for their Christmas presents. This day of Jesus’ birth was planned way ahead in eternity past. Philosophers kinda knew it was coming but only God knew the details of His master plan. Who woulda thunk the backdrop of this central moment in global history would be a decrepit manger (translation: a stinky, shanty unfit for humans)? In a rare display of outright joy, God shared His excitement to the angels who burst into angelic music never before heard by human ears. The angels passed it on to lowly shepherds who went and visited the newborn babe. Mary and Joseph were prophesied that their child would be King. They must have seriously doubted the predictions when they looked at their pitiful surroundings. The visit of the shepherds and their story about the angelic orchestra must have given them the encouragement they needed.
I remember my excitement when my kids were born. I wanted to give my kids the best medical attention, the best everything … in contrast our all powerful God chose to give us the gift of His son wrapped in humble rags. No cigars, no champagne, no victory parade … just curious shepherd visitors.
(Isidro is a jobless drifter who had to hitch for his rides. For weeks I had been looking for an affordable bike to surprise him. The day before our practice, I bought Isidro a brand new bicycle. I was beaming with pride and excitement because Isidro had no clue what I had saved for him at the back of my car. Imagine my heartbreak when he said he didn’t want it. He said it was too small, too impractical … I was crushed. Isidro’s pride prevented my joy.)
When the child Jesus grew up, few realized HE was God’s gift. They treated Him with disdain. They mocked Him … they killed Him. They rejected God’s gift. Mine was just a bicycle. God’s was His most precious and only begotten son. Think about that for a while.
Time stood still in the choir because I realized that Christmas joy comes from an exchange. It’s in the giving and the receiving. Without that completed transaction, there is no joy. And when we remember the reason for the season and accept THE GIFT, there is joy overflowing. Love and joy come to you — and to you God’s blessings too.
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given” — Isaiah 9:6
Joke of the Week
Shared by Tom of Pasadena, CA
Videos of the Week
Jeanne Robertson: Left Brain Christmas Gifts
Sent by Art of Sierra Madre, CA
Shopping cheap and shopping practical.WATCH VIDEO
Jingle Bells in Bowls
Sent by Charlie of New Jersey
This Asian uses bowls like a xylophone. He’s a pretty happy camper.
The Chinese Recorded Jesus’ Birth, Death and Resurrection
Sent Art of Sierra Madre, CA
WARNING: RELIGIOUS/POLITICAL video: Skip if this bothers you
The film quality is poor but this is a compelling historical evidence attesting to the validity of the life of Jesus. These are not religious but historical documents. There really was this man who performed all of these amazing miracles.
From Don’s collection of puns
Heavy Thought of the Week
Sent by Naomi of North Hollywood, CA
Thanks to Tom of Pasadena, CA who shared this photo
Hey, do me a favor. Get your copy of the brand new Traveling Boy Joke Book. It’s pocket size and is perfect for a stocking stuffer. It’s about $10 only, unique and … ideal for your office mate or business friend.