H. L. Sheppard
A MANGER FULL OF
He came through the back door of His own world. The God of all creation slipped out of the ethereal, across the starlit night and into a barn in Bethlehem. His journey took a circuitous route that for nine months found Him nurtured beneath the beating of a virgin’s tender heart. His ultimate arrival was heralded by angels in the shepherd’s field, and the braying of a loud smelly donkey in a nasty old barn out behind a little motel.
There were few who realized He had arrived. There were fewer still who were even paying attention. A little virgin girl and her loving husband, maybe three or four shepherds and an odorous contingency of barnyard animals were the only visitors to the noxious nursery where Jesus was born.
He didn’t come with the waving of banners and the blowing of horns. There was no ticker tape parade, no marching bands, no rose covered floats or crowds lining the parade route. There was just a baby, his parents and a few guests, there only by angelic invitation.
His purpose was not to make a grand entrance and attract attention to Himself. He hadn’t come all this way, from a heavenly throne surrounded by angels, to an earthly footstool where fallen man toiled to make a living by the sweat of his brow; to display His healing powers or his miraculous ability to walk on water. He did not come to earth to benefit Himself. On the contrary, He came to give of Himself and to bless others.
From a majestic throne room surrounded by seraphim who shouted out His glorious praises to all of creation, to a dusty old earth to rub shoulders with the unrighteous and the self-righteous; He came to give of Himself so that others could be blessed.
Christ’s mission hasn’t changed, although 2,000 years have passed since His first visit to the little clay ball we call home. He still wants to reach out to the souls that He created in His own image. He still wants to touch them, heal them, love them, be near them, bless them…save them.
“Now ye are the body of Christ…” (I Cor. 12:27). God expects His Church to continue His mission on Earth. And, because we are many and have the ability to collectively reach to others all over this city, Jesus promised that “…greater works than these shall he (you) do…” (John 14:12). Jesus continues to heal, love, bless and save the souls He created by reaching out and touching them through The Church.
A kind word, a thoughtful gift, a gentle hand on the shoulder of those in need could make this Christmas one of the most memorable in your entire life. Jesus shared the gospel message with everyone who would listen, pointed them toward eternal life. But, Jesus Christ took advantage of every opportunity to minister to the human needs of those around Him. As the "Body of Christ" we have been entrusted with the same divine obligation to one another. We are His hands, His feet His voice. Those all around us will feel His touch when "we" reach out to them. They will see His face when "we" seek them out. They will hear His voice when "we" speak a word to them. Now I challenge you....Go out into the world and show them Jesus Christ, and you will "SEE THE POSSIBILITIES"!
The Year of Possibilities!