Friday, December 23, 2011

the irony of the Christmas story - the wise men

He came, not as a flash of light or as an unapproachable conqueror, 
but as one whose first cries were heard by a peasant girl and a sleepy carpenter. 
The hands that first held him were unmanicured, calloused, and dirty.

No silk. No ivory. No hype. No party. No hoopla.

Were it not for the shepherds, there would have been no reception. 
And were it not for a group of stargazers, there would have been no gifts.
 Max Lucado 

Only two groups of folks were notified of Jesus' birth other than Mary and Joseph's families.
the shepherds - unclean 
the Magi - unclean because they were Gentiles.
Ironic.  God had to take his message to the unclean.  

Neither group was welcomed in the Temple courts.  
They didn't meet the requirements for entering.  
They didn't follow all the tedious man-made rules of the day. 
They were from the wrong tribe.
Their lineage was not acceptable.  
They weren't good enough.
And that's just the beginning of all the reasons they weren't worthy.    

On the other hand, have you noticed who did NOT receive the announcement of Jesus' birth?
          the religious
          the high priests in the temple
          the people who were allowed and welcomed into the temple courts

Why?  Why didn't the "church folks" know?
Why didn't the "clean" know?
Were they too busy?
Were they too consumed with the following of all their self-made strict religious rituals?
Were they too occupied with standing on the street corners offering up their prayers in public so they would appear pious and then most worthy of praise?
Were they too busy protecting the traditions?  Saying "we've always done it this way?
Were they not approachable?

Here's my question to you and to myself this Christmas season. 

If Jesus were born today who would hear the angels?
who would see (be looking for)  the star and follow? 
who would take the time to listen?
who would God find faithful?

If I've learned anything in my 64 years, it has been that God goes to those who have time to hear him.  
To those who are 'still and know that He is God'.

For 2012, I want to learn to 'be still".  
I want to learn to listen.
I want to be approachable.
I want to be less judgmental
I want to be known by my love for others regardless
I want to be willing to get messy,  if it means I can give 'the message'
I want to be willing to take some risks as Mary and Joseph did
As the shepherds and the wise men did
I want to be found faithful.

I want to be found faithful!

  This is Part 2 of "the irony of Christmas".  Part 1 is here Click here if you missed it on Wednesday


  1. Wow, Janet, I'd never thought of that before: "Only two groups of folks were notified of Jesus' birth.
    the shepherds - unclean
    the Magi - unclean because they were Gentiles.
    Ironic. God had to take his message to the unclean.
    Neither group was welcomed in the Temple courts.
    They didn't meet the requirements for entering."

    That's humbling, but it also points to the staggering reality of what God's GRACE is.

    I love your list of what you want for this coming year, with the crescendo: "I want to be found faithful." Thanks for the inspiration. I hope and pray I will be found faithful,too.

    Blessed Christmas, friend!


  2. Thanks for writing your thought-provoking 2-part message that helps us see new insights into the Nativity account. What a wonderful reminder that God reveals himself to those who take the time to listen.

  3. Just wanted to thank you again so very much for your kind words on my blog.. it always makes me smile!

  4. Dear Janet,
    Thanks for sharing this enlightening post about the Nativity. I never realized that God took His message to the "unclean" only which shows His grace and mercy even more. Your list of what you want to accomplish is very inspiring~ I want to be found faithful, too. Blessings to you and yours in the New Year.

  5. You wrote this so well, it brings an old story to life and refreshens it...I also love all the things you want for 2012...I believe they are mine also. Have a wonderful, happy healthy New Year.
    I am thrilled you have purchaed my book. I pray you enjoy it. Please write a review when you have finished.Many non Christians will read fiction where they don't read a bible. My prayer is that my story touches hearts to reach out and trust in Him, the lover of our souls. Much love Crystal

  6. Appreciate your visit and comment. I like your observations here.

  7. Hope your well. Love Crystal Mary xx

  8. Those are the best New Year's Resolutions I've seen yet! I wish you great success. :)

  9. I don't know how I have missed you before, but I discovered you on the WOTH writer's blog. Let me just say I LOVE your "about me" section. And I'm enjoying your posts, too. Jumping in at this late date, I'll be skipping around looking for some prize posts here. Keep up the good work!

  10. Just wanted to clarify that I was referring to the short blurb in the side bar, not the longer "about me" which was very gripping, but in a deep way. I feel like I know you after so few words. I pray you find peace amid this recent turmoil of having the poacher released from prison. Your life and story can encourage many.

  11. Just checking in...haven't heard from you for awhile! Miss your posts and your emails! Praying you are healthy and all is well at your house.
    Hugs, GraceinAZ

  12. Hello Janet, I wanted to reply back to your comment on my Health Blog by email, however, I don't have your return one? What your physiologist has said is right. Keep seeing the good picture of your husband and refuse that bad image. In Proverbs 23:7 it says, "For as a man thinketh in his heart, so shall it be." I LOVE this scripture..
    Many years ago my daughter had bacterial meningitis, she was 21yyrs old and almost died with it.The doctor pulled me aside and explained the complications, deafness, brain damage,etc.. I looked him in the face and said, "my daughter will have nothing wrong with her." I wrote out the above scripture and stuck it on the hospital wall right behind her bed. Well today she is almost 40yrs and a well healthy mother of 4.. I believe in speaking out Gods Word,(Jesus was the Word become flesh) and I stand on Gods promises..
    Write out the verse and stick it on the toilet wall and read it every time you sit there..and believe it..ITS TRUE!
    I do this with many things, and it is also a witness to the people who visit my home.
    Much love to you dear friend. Crystal Mary. xx

  13. thank you so much for your heart, for praying, friend... it means the world to us. bless you. e.

  14. Janet, thank you for posting my blog button on your sidebar and requesting prayers for hubby and me. We love that you would do that for us! We are settled in a routine now, and that is helping. I am trying to do a few "normal" chores, too, which is keeping me grounded. (I think.) One step at a time, one day at a time and we will walk throught this fire!
    Hugs, GraceinAZ

  15. Hi Janet Mate, Just checking in on you to make sure you are alright. Much love Crystal xxx