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Hit the Pause Button

December 8th, 2017

In an obscure town of Bethlehem within the humble confines of a type of stable was born Someone extraordinary. A Savior broke the barrier between divine and earthly; giving us all opportunity to pause to the meaning and sanctity of it all. Can you imagine what was in the hearts and minds of those who encountered this God come to earth to literally be Immanuel, God with us?! Let’s travel back in time, placing ourselves within this story of old, hitting the pause button often to allow the meaning to nestle within our being, whispering truth and direction to our current path. Pausing creates the space to breathe in His grace, mercy, and compassion, in order to exhale the truth and beauty of this ancient love story.

Luke 2:6-7 “While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.”


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There is a season, a time for everything under the sun, and when the time is ripe, nothing impedes the forward momentum of that monumental, life-changing event --- not even ‘no vacancy’ signs. Most of what comes our way will not be what we expect or how we expected it to come, but come it will nonetheless. And how we respond to that less than perfect situation can determine our future steps. Our Lord specializes in taking our impossibilities, bleak circumstances, and breathing life, hope and meaning into them.

Luke 2:8-12 “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.””


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Can you imagine the astonishment and the fear these shepherds encountered at the harkening of the angel. To our knowledge there was nothing extraordinary about the night, other than that one star that appeared brighter than normal. And shepherds… no one bothered to tell them anything. They kept to themselves and let’s face it people liked it that way --- these smelly, nomad, loner beings were best kept at a distance. But the angel of the Lord interrupted that societal barrier and appeared to send a message loud and clear --- This Messiah, God with us, has come with the purpose to save all who are willing to be saved.

Luke 2:13-14 “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.””


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And then if that wasn’t enough to awaken those shepherds senses, a multitude of angels burst into the scene just to confirm the good news to all people and provide evidence of the ridiculously, extravagant love our Father was extending to humankind on this night like no other!

Luke 2:15-16 “When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.”


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Let’s be honest; they were probably dumbstruck for the first few minutes after the angels left them with only the stars twinkling against a dark sky. I can see them staring into the night, awaiting another flash of brilliance, a message that said “just kidding; you’ve been punked”. When that didn’t happen, they look around at each other as if to say, “Did that just really happen?” And one by one they began to nod and smile, excitement mounting and hope replacing the fear that had left them motionless. Then one bravely exclaims, “Let’s go”. And they do! And what emotions did they feel when their eyes finally beheld their hope, their Messiah, who promised to come to even shepherds.

Luke 2:17-18, 20 “When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them… The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.


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The Messiah always takes our mess and makes a message for us to share with those around us. He touches within each one of us the part that doubts, hurts, and continually fails and He says, “All that brokenness will be restored into a beautiful mosaic masterpiece.” Each one of us is a work of art that boldly proclaims our Messiah to our circle of influence. And when people hear and see our message, they will be in awe because they know it didn’t come from us but was truly divine.

This Christmas take time to PAUSE. Cease doing and just be in the presence of the One gift that never wears out nor ever goes out of style.

This Gift will continue to give all year long if you create space in your life to PAUSE and seek Him. What is the Gift telling you when you PAUSE and listen to this timeless Christmas story?

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Last Updated: December 7, 2017
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