I have not written a blog in a few days … I try not to write just for the sake of writing but to write when I have something to say and want to share. Thus last month I missed three days writing a blog and four this month. Breaking routine.? Yes! Allowing more time to read? Yes! Thinking a little deeper than usual? Absolutely!
In the past three days I have been focused on reading an excellent book on Jesus by Max Lucado called “Jesus, The God Who Knows Your Name.” Written in a very readable and easy to follow and understand manner. Yet an excellent study into the life and ministry of Jesus. This morning early I started another book on the life, times, and ministry of Jesus written with a more scholarly format yet just as good. The book is “Simply Jesus” by N.T. Wright. Again, a worthwhile investment of time and energy.
We are approaching Christmas and I become quickly overwhelmed by advertisements to buy everything from a kitchen appliance to a new Toyota in their year-end sale. At least the appliance usually fits under the tree. Consumerism runs at top speed this time of year and it takes effort to stay focused on Jesus and the true message of the season. I am instantly reminded that the crib (baby Jesus) means nothing without the Cross of Calvary and the crowning of Jesus as King. Remember the words of the Magi when they asked, “Where is He who is born king?” The crib must remain connected to the crown and the cross was the path needed to be travelled so as to receive the crown.
So, each year at about this time in the Christmas season I turn my focus to Jesus and read so as to refresh my understanding but also to deepen and enrich my relationship with Him. And, this approach and focus keeps me anchored and helps me not get caught up in the commercial aspects of the season. It reminds me, as the now worn out phrase states, “Jesus is the reason for the season.”
As I read both the biblical account of the birth of Jesus and other books written about Him I look for fresh insights to a very familiar story of His birth. Like the Israelites in the Old Testament who received fresh manna every day from their heavenly Father I am looking for “fresh manna” of another sort. Jesus said that “we don’t live on bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” The Greek tense is the present perfect which can be translated “proceeds continuously day after day” from the Lord. So, I am looking for that fresh manna that feeds my soul and spirit and refreshes me as I allow the words and insights to sink into my very being.
This takes time which always seems in short supply and even more so with all the added family events which happen around the Christmas season. So, I work hard to protect my time and not waste it on unnecessary things. Time is precious and seems to be in short supply even at the best of times. More so around the festive season of Christmas. But to receive and digest fresh manna takes time and focus and so I work hard to protect my time with the Lord in the morning and even add to it so as to spend a little more time than normal.
There is always more to see. More to know. More to understand. More to experience. And, so I look forward with serious expectation to knowing the Prince of Peace better by the end of this season called CHRISTmas.
How about you?