1438. We look into the reverse end of the kaleidoscope of human events and see, mostly, confusion and discord; while God beholds harmony from the divine end. ~James Lendall Basford

We hear the beating
of wings over Bethlehem
and a light that is not of the sun
or of the stars shines in the midnight sky.
The message of Christmas is that
the material world is bound to
the invisible spiritual world.
~Author Unknown

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The dictionary defines relationship as a connection to or an involvement with another, and what happened in a Bethlehem manger over 2,000 years ago was the Breath of Heaven reaching out to touch and begin a relationship with the material world. Christmas then is not an event; it is instead the beginning of a relationship. What God gave the world in the beginning was physical light, but it was His son, the Messiah, who brought salvation and the spiritual light that illuminates the face of God and opens the door to an intimate involvement with Him. To achieve that divine destiny Jesus came into our world, walked among us, and left a continuing legacy of ways to remain connected to and in relationship with the Creator. That relationship can only come into its fullness by walking with the Creator, talking with Him, and devoting time to the Lover of our souls. It’s like when a man or woman marry. They don’t just celebrate and spend time with each other on that one day of the year. It has to be a day to day, minute to minute commitment if the relationship is to grow and blossom into greater goodness.

When I saw others straining toward God,
I did not understand it, for though,
I may have had Him less than they did,
there was no one blocking the way
between Him and me,
and I could reach His heart easily.
It is up to Him, after all, to have us;
our part consists of almost solely
of letting Him grasp us.
~Ranier Maria Rilke

May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our ancestors; may he never leave us nor forsake us. ~1 Kings 8:57 ✝

**Inages found on the Internet; collage by Natalie

1437. Jesus Messiah, Name above all names, Blessed Redeemer, Emmanuel, Lord off all, we welcome you!

The babe born to Mary and Joseph in a manger in Bethlehem was no mere human. He was the fully divine blessed Messiah sent to restore the rhythm in Creation’s rhyme and save the lost. As we prepare this week to celebrate when the Word became flesh, I’d like to share with you an excerpt from Max Lucado’s book, IT BEGAN IN A MANGER. I pray that it touches you and that in so doing you feel the Breath of Heaven blow through your world. Lord, make our hearts a Bethlehem and therein let the Christ-child be born again.

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God. O infant-God. Heaven’s fairest child.
Conceived by the union of
divine grace with our disgrace.
Sleep well.
Bask in the coolness of
this night bright with diamonds.
Sleep well,
for the heat of anger simmers nearby.
Enjoy the silence of the crib,
for the noise of confusion
rumbles in your future.
Savor the sweet safety of my arms,
for a day is coming soon
when I cannot protect you.
Rest well, tiny hands.
For though you belong to a king,
you will touch no satin, own no gold.
You will grasp no pen, guide no brush.
No, your tiny hands are reserved
for work far more precious:
to touch a leper’s open wound,
to wipe a widow’s weary tear,
the claw the ground of Gethsemane.
Your hands, so tiny, so white–
clutched tonight in an infant’s fist.
They aren’t destined to hold a scepter
nor wave from a palace balcony.
They are reserved instead for a Roman spike
that will staple them to a Roman cross.
Sleep deeply, tiny eyes.
Sleep while you can.
For soon the blurriness
will clear and you will see
the mess we have made of your world.
You will see our nakedness,
for we cannot hide.
You will see our selfishness,
for we cannot give.
You will see our pain, for we cannot heal.
Our eyes that will see hell’s darkest pit
and witness her ugly prince. . .
sleep, please sleep; sleep while you can.
Lie still, tiny mouth.
Lie still, mouth from which eternity will speak.
Tiny tongue that will soon summon the dead,
that will define grace,
that will silence our foolishness.
Rosebud lips–upon which ride
a starborn kiss of forgiveness
to those who believe you,
and death to those who deny you–lie still.
And tiny feet cupped
in the palm of my hand, rest.
For many difficult steps lied ahead for you.
Do you taste the dust of the trails you will travel?
Do you feel the cold seawater
upon which you will walk?
Do you wrench at the invasion
of the nail you will bear?
Do you fear the steep descent down
the spiral staircase into Satan’s domain?
Rest, tiny feet. Rest today so that tomorrow
you might walk with power.
For millions will follow in your footsteps.
And little heart. . . holy heart. . .
pumping the blood of life through the universe:
How many times will we break you?
You’ll be torn by the thorns of our accusations.
You’ll be ravaged by the cancer of our sin.
You’ll be crushed under
the weight of your own sorrow.
And you’ll be pierced
by the spear of our rejection.
Yet in that piercing,
in the ultimate ripping
of muscle and membrane,
in that final rush of blood and water,
you will find rest.
Your hands will be freed,
your eyes will see justice,
your lips will smile, and
your feet will carry you home.
And there you’ll rest again
in the embrace of your Father.

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. ~Luke 2:11 ✝

**Image via Pinterest