No Plan B

When John Elway, Denver Bronco’s top executive, managed to sign Peyton Manning as the team’s new quarterback, replacing Tim Tebow, a reporter asked him, what he would do if Manning got hurt. “What is your Plan B?” A shocked Elway answered, they didn’t have a Plan B, and were sticking with Plan A. That is, Manning was their first choice for quarterback, so they are sticking with him.   Sending Jesus to earth to die and save humanity from their sins was not God’s alternative plan of salvation. Jesus was meant to die for our sins from the beginning. Jesus was there with God in the beginning and God knew then what His son would do for the world. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:1-5 (NIV)   As Christians, we rejoice in knowing our God is sovereign and Jesus is His perfect choice to save us. During this Christmas season, let us praise God and worship our savior anew realizing that who we worship is the divine Son of God and He has the quintessential plan for our salvation.

Clear Eyes

The Old Testament contains stories of individuals and events that helped people living in the New Testament times to accept the birth and life of Jesus as truth which, in turn, helped them to receive Him as their Savior. If you had lived in New Testament times, would it have been easy for you to accept this man, this carpenter called Jesus as the Messiah and to receive Him as your Savior? Do you remember how you first learned about Jesus? – Was it because a relative told you about Jesus? – Your best childhood friend invited you to Vacation Bible School? – A co-worker asked you to go to a life group? – Your neighbor invited you to a Christian concert? – Someone gave you a Bible and you started reading it? – A friend told you how his relationship with God got him through a difficult time in his life? Did that invitation or special someone pave the way for you to develop a relationship with Jesus and help accept the gift that only Jesus can give? If it did, then you have a duty to introduce your relatives, friends and co-workers to Jesus. It’s important that you invite someone to a church activity, that you tell someone how God got you through a difficult time in your life and that you help someone accept the gift that only Jesus can give.

An Unplugged Christmas: Children’s Production

Within moments of the last line being delivered and the last note sung in “An Unplugged Christmas,” parents will blow up Facebook with videos from their phones. Later in the day grandparents will share links to their photo albums and great grandparents will be on their landline phones telling friends how cute the children were. Christmas plays create good news that people are eager to share. While the methods of sharing may change with the generations, the enthusiasm is always there. We can’t wait to tell the stories about the sweet, joyful way that children tell “The Story.” If you like to see people smile, “An Unplugged Christmas” is a great place to be. There will be smiles on the stage and even bigger smiles from the people watching their children. But the biggest smiles of all will be smiles of relief on the faces of the directors, costumers, choreographers and tech team members. The work back stage is often overlooked. Overlooked doesn’t mean unimportant. In fact, the backstage story is vital to what we see on stage. As we smile at the children, take a moment and remember that God was working for us long before there was a manger and He will be seeking us long after the last light is dimmed. That’s good news—very good news.

So Much More

No matter if we are young or old, or in between, we have memories of Christmas. What are those memories made of? Presents, joy, anticipation, excitement; the list of Christmas memories could go on and on. While Christmas is about many things, the greatest of these is hope.   Christmas is about the hope of a son, the Son of God, coming to save the world. This hope was revealed well before Christmas day. Isaiah the prophet proclaimed, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.“ Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)   The arrival of the King would be joyous, but foretold more than the victory that would come. The child would not live a long life. This King of Kings would bear the weight of the world. This Lamb of God would be tortured and die a gruesome death. As Isaiah promised of this King, “He will reign on David’s throne and over His kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” Isaiah 9:7 (NIV) The King would bring freedom, an everlasting freedom, for all.   This victory was hard for the Israelites to understand, it was a victory that was difficult to measure during the time of His life and it’s often a victory we do not reflect upon at Christmas time or in our own time. During this season of Christmas—remember it is about hope.