3/10/15

From Jim McGuiggan... Once upon a time on Mount Olympus

Once upon a time on Mount Olympus

Many of our best loved fairy tales begin with: “Once upon a time…” and when the ancient Greeks told stories about their gods and such but they never gave a historical context. The Bible’s nothing like that! Jeremiah 1:1 tells us that the word of the Lord came to a young man called Jeremiah and it even tells us when it came: “in the days of King Josiah.” Just so we know who he’s talking about the writer tells us which King Josiah he has in mind—he’s the son of Amon of Judah! And to be even more specific he says it came to Jeremiah in the “13th year” of Josiah’s reign. And that’s not all! The writer goes on to give us names and dates of other kings and other events.
The word of the Lord in texts like these and in times like these is no vague or generalised moral “truth” or “body of timeless principles” that envelop humanity like a cloud. Prophets like Jeremiah said that God, at a specific time on the calendar ripped open the curtain of history and spoke to them about specific issues in a concrete fashion, claiming current sovereignty over the earth and all the nations. Maybe the Bible’s wrong in making claims like that but right or wrong it makes them and it doesn’t hide behind “once upon a time” or “in the days of” and then give the name of some mythical character or imaginary place! No, it names names and links it all to specific events!
“Yes, yes, but this was so long ago and so many of these names can’t be documented,” some critics tell us. There’s some truth in this but the concrete claims are not to be denied simply because we lack objective confirmation of some historical figures.
Luke loads the opening chapters of his first book with specific names and dates. Listen to this from Luke 3:1-2: “In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanius ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas the word of God came to John son of Zachariah in the wilderness.” We have no trouble documenting these names and places and times but we know that the problem in our believing the astonishing claim of a text like that is not simply about its historical setting. The sad truth is that, in the main, there’s no will to believe; but whether we commit in faith to God or not he has spoken a redemptive word to the human family that has come to its fullness in and as Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, born in the days of Augustus, crucified by Pontius Pilate at the instigation of Caiaphas and resurrected to life and glory during the reign of Tiberius and was seen by men and women who gave their lives in service to “Jesus” as the risen and coming Lord.
Christmas isn’t just a time when humans engage in lovely and sentimental wishing. It’s the astonishing claim that God has taken note of our awful sinfulness and instead of obliterating us in a fit of divine revenge he came in and as Jesus and offers us his life in exchange for our death.

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, the abidingword.com

The Da Vinci Code, the Sabbath, and Sunday by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=1877

The Da Vinci Code, the Sabbath, and Sunday

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Many outlandish accusations and assertions have been made through the centuries. Some have claimed that Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime never murdered millions of Jews (see Harwood, 1974). Others have concluded that one way a man can rid himself of the AIDS virus is to have sexual relations with a virgin (see Govender, 1999). Enemies of America have accused the U.S. of being uncaring and insensitive to the suffering that takes place around the world when, in truth, few if any countries on the planet do as much to help the distressed following various catastrophes than America. [Although the U.S. certainly has lost its way in regard to promoting certain biblical and Christian values (e.g., the value of an unborn child’s life, heterosexual marriages, etc.), America is always at the forefront of helping the afflicted.]
Unfortunately, more lies have been told (and believed!) about God and Christianity than perhaps anything or anyone else on Earth. This, of course, is not surprising since “the ruler of this world” (John 14:30) and “the father” of lies (John 8:44)—Satan—wants nothing more than to deceive people regarding the one true religion. One of Satan’s recent outlets has been Dan Brown’s book The Da Vinci Code. Millions of readers have been mislead by this allegedly “historical” (Brown, 2003b), “fact-based” novel (MacEwen, 2003). It casts suspicion and purports several lies about early Christianity, the integrity of the Bible, and the deity of Christ.
One of the many wild assertions in Brown’s book is his criticism of the day on which Christians assemble to partake of the Lord’s Supper and worship God. According to one of Brown’s main characters, Robert Langdon,
Originally...Christianity honored the Jewish Sabbath of Saturday, but Constantine shifted it to coincide with the pagan’s veneration day of the sun.... To this day, most churchgoers attend services on Sunday mornings with no idea that they are there on account of the pagan sun god’s weekly tribute—Sunday (Brown, 2003a, pp. 232-233).
Supposedly, Christians worship God on Sunday because in the fourth century A.D. Constantine decided that the church should worship on Sundays rather than Saturdays, and thus follow the pagan sun god’s day of tribute. What is the truth of the matter?
Long before the time of Constantine, Christians were gathering together on the first day of the week to worship God. Both inspired Bible writers and non-inspired, early (pre-Constantine) Christians viewed Sunday as the day to eat the memorial feast, as well as engage in other acts of worship. The apostle Paul instructed the Christians in Corinth (as he had earlier taught the churches of Galatia) to lay a portion of their income aside “on the first day of every week...that no collections be made when I come” (1 Corinthians 16:1-2, NASV, emp. added). Luke later wrote how the disciples in Troas came together “on the first day of the week” to break bread in remembrance of the Lord’s death (Acts 20:7, emp. added; cf. 1 Corinthians 11:17-26). Ignatius wrote in his letter to the Magnesians (believed to be penned around A.D. 110) how Christians “have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s Day” (1:62, emp. added; cf. Revelation 1:10). In chapter 67 of his First Apology (written around A.D. 150), Justin Martyr noted how Christians would gather together “on the day called Sunday” to read the writings of the apostles and prophets, instruct, pray, give, and eat of bread and wine (emp. added). It simply is a blatant lie to assert that 300 years after Christianity was born the Emperor Constantine “shifted” the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday. Christians have been worshiping God on the first day of the week since the first century, when about 3,000 Jews were converted to Christ on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2)—which was a Sunday.
But why did the early Christians meet on Sunday, and why do God’s people still assemble on this day? Is it, as Brown indicates, “on account of the pagan sun god’s weekly tribute”? Absolutely not! Christians have met on Sundays to worship God for the past 2,000 years because this is the day that God has set aside for us to worship Him, including eating the memorial feast. We know that it was on the first day of the week that Jesus rose from the grave (Matthew 28:1-6; Mark 16:1-6; Luke 24:1-3; John 20:1-2), that the church was established on this day (Acts 2), and that the early Christians met on this day (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2). Furthermore, early non-inspired preachers repudiated any connection between paganism and worshiping God on “the Lord’s day” (Sunday). Around A.D.200, Tertullian twice dealt with this matter (“Ad Nationes,” 1:13; “Apology,” 16). In his “Apology,” he indicated that Christians “devote Sun-day to rejoicing” for a “far different reason than Sun-worship” (XVI). “Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly,” wrote Justin Martyr (nearly two centuries before Constantine), because “Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun,” he “appeared to His apostles and disciples” (“First Apology,” 67).
Once again, an outlandish assertion about Christianity is proven to be false. Faithful Christians never worshiped God on Sunday in any age because that day coincided with the pagan’s veneration of the Sun. What’s more, Constantine had nothing to do with saints assembling on the first day of the week. Christians have been worshiping God “on the Lord’s day” ever since the establishment of the church of Christ in the first century.

REFERENCES

Brown, Dan (2003a), The Da Vinci Code (New York: Doubleday).
Brown, Dan (2003b), “Today,” NBC, Interview with Matt Lauer, June 9.
Govender, Prega (1999), “Child Rape: A Taboo With the AIDS Taboo,” [On-line], URL: http://www.aegis.org/news/suntimes/1999/ST990401.html.
Harwood, Richard (1974), Did Six Million Really Die? (England: Historical Review Press).
Ignatius (1973 reprint), “Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians,” The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Justin Martyr (1973 reprint), “The First Apology of Justin,” The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
MacEwen, Valerie (2003), “Try Putting This Book Down,” [On-line], URL: http://www.popmatters.com/books/reviews/d/da-vinci-code.shtml.
Tertullian (1973 reprint), “Ad Nationes,” The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Tertullian (1973 reprint), “Apology,” The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

From Mark Copeland... Authority In Religion


                  "CHALLENGES CONFRONTING THE CHURCH"

                         Authority In Religion

INTRODUCTION

1. The Lord’s church can expect to confront many challenges...
   a. Opposition by Satan was foretold in the parable of the tares -      Mt 13:24-30,36-43
   b. Attacks from within and without foretold by Paul - Ac 20:29-30
   c. Apostasy was foretold, and began very early - 2Pe 2:1-3
      Jude 4

2. Previously, we suggested that the local church will be at the 
    front of the confrontation...

   a. As the church universal is a spiritual entity well preserved by Jesus
   b. But the church local is subject to many things that can threaten
      its existence
   c. How can the church local stand strong and firm in the service of Christ?

3. I believe the key is respecting the proper authority...
   a. How shall we determine what is right or wrong, good or evil?
   b. What shall be our authority in matters of religion?
   c. Is a particular doctrine or practice from heaven or from man?
      - cf. Mt 21:23-25

[Using the proper authority in matters of religion, most challenges
confronting the church can be easily overcome.  What is the proper
authority in religion?  Let’s first consider...]

I. WHAT MANY CHURCHES ACCEPT AS AUTHORITY

   A. THE OLD TESTAMENT...
      1. From the beginning of the church, many have appealed to the OT
         - e.g., Ac 15:1-5
      2. The OT has its place, when properly handled - Ro 15:4; 1Co 10:11; 2Ti 3:14-17
      3. But it can be misused, to authorize things no longer required
         - Ga 5:1-4; 1Ti 4:1-3
      -- We cannot assume that just because something is in the OT, it
         is authorized!

   B. TRADITIONS OF MEN...
      1. The handing down of traditions was common in Rabbinic Judaism
         - e.g., Mk 7:1-5
      2. Traditions of God are not wrong - 1Co 11:2; 2Th 2:15; 3:6
      3. But Jesus condemned the traditions of men...
         a. When they are taught as doctrines of God - Mk 7:6-7
         b. When they displace the commands of God - Mk 7:8-13
      -- Uninspired traditions cannot be equated with or replacements
         for the Word of God!

   C. MODERN DAY PROPHETS...
      1. Throughout church history, many have claimed to be prophets of
         God - e.g., Re 2:20
      2. Christ and His apostles warned against false prophets -
         Mt 7:15; 2Pe 2:1; 1Jn 4:1
      3. The OT gives us two ways to test the prophets
         a. Do their prophecies come to pass? - Deut 18:20-22
         b. Even if they do, is their doctrine consistent with God’s
            Word? - Deut 13:1-5
      -- Since the 1st century A.D., all "prophets" have failed either
         one or both tests!

   D. MAJORITY RULE...
      1. Many people and church councils decide doctrine or practice
         based on majority rule
      2. Yet Jesus warned of the danger of following the majority - Mt 7:13-14
      3. If we had followed the majority...
         a. In Noah’s day, we would have perished in the flood
         b. In Joshua’s day, we would have perished in the wilderness
      -- Following the majority is not a good guide for authority in
         religion!

   E. CONSCIENCE...
      1. "Let your conscience be your guide" is the motto of many
      2. But our conscience cannot always be reliable
         a. Paul had served God with a good conscience throughout his
            life - Ac 23:1
         b. Even at a time when he was persecuting Christians! - cf. Ac 26:9-11
      3. The conscience is like a clock, which works properly only if
         set properly
      -- Our conscience is not always a reliable guide in matters of religion

   F. HUMAN WISDOM...
      1. Many feel that through their own wisdom they can determine
         right and wrong
      2. But God’s thoughts and ways are not always our own - cf. Isa 55:8-9
      3. In fact, God has chosen to save man in a manner specifically
         designed to confound those who depend solely upon human wisdom
         - cf. 1Co 1:18-29
      4. For us to know God’s will, it was necessary for Him to reveal
         it to us - 1Co 2:9-12
      5. This He has done through His Spirit-inspired apostles - Ep 3:1-3
      6. Who in turn shared it with us through their writings - Ep 3:4-5
      -- Human wisdom is often the exact opposite of God’s wisdom!

   G. FEELINGS...
      1. This is often the standard of authority for many people and churches
         a. Who go by whatever ‘feels right’
         b. Who place stock in a religion ‘better felt than told’
         c. Who will follow societal trends that may seem good and right
      2. Yet the Bible declares the danger of trusting in feelings
         a. "There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is
            the way of death." - Pr 14:12
         b. "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool..." - Pr 28:26
         c. "O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not
            in man who walks to direct his own steps." - Jer 10:23
      -- Such subjective feelings are from the heart of man, not the
         mind of God!

[These seven "standards of authority in religion" are from men, not from
heaven, and are the main reason for much religious confusion and
division that exists today.  Allow me to suggest...]

II. WHAT CHURCHES SHOULD ACCEPT AS AUTHORITY

   A. THE WORDS OF JESUS CHRIST...
      1. Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and on earth - Mt 28:18
      2. He expects us to observe all things whatsoever He commanded
         - Mt 28:19-20
      3. He is the head of the church, which is to be subject to Him
         - Ep 5:23-24
      -- As the body of Christ, we must submit to our Head!

   B. THE DOCTRINE OF THE APOSTLES...
      1. To receive Christ, we must receive His apostles - Jn 13:20
      2. They were sent as His ambassadors - 2Co 5:20
      3. To ensure reliability, Jesus promised them the Holy Spirit - Jn 14:26; 16:12-13
      4. The apostles’ wrote so that we might have their understanding
         - Ep 3:1-5
      5. They wrote their epistles that we might always be reminded
         - 2Pe 1:12-15; 3:1-2
      6. Their writings were "the commandments of the Lord" - 1Co 14:37
      7. They received their word as "the word of God" - 2Th 2:13
      8. Thus the early church "continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine" - Ac 2:42
      -- Any true local church of Christ respects the doctrine of the
         apostles as their authority

   C. THE FAITH REVEALED ONCE FOR ALL...
      1. The faith or doctrine of Christ was delivered "once for all
         time" (NLT) - Jude 3
      2. The apostles did not hesitate to proclaim the "whole counsel" of God - Ac 20:27
      3. They proclaimed "all things" pertaining to life and godliness
         - 2Pe 1:3
      4. The Scriptures therefore provide everything needed to make one
         "complete" - 2Ti 3:16-17
      -- With the Scriptures as an all-sufficient guide, we need no other authority!

CONCLUSION

1. The only proper authority in religion...
   a. Is that which emanates from Jesus as the head of His church
   b. Which has come to us through the doctrines of His Spirit-inspired apostles
   c. Which has been preserved in the form of the New Testament

2. All other authority in religion comes from...
   a. Either misapplication of the Scriptures (e.g., the Old Testament)
   b. Or uninspired men (and women) who usurp authority based on feelings, etc.

3. When confronted with any challenge, the church today needs to...
   a. Look to the words of Christ, and the writings of His apostles
   b. Observe all things He commanded, and continue steadfastly in their doctrine

Our next study will examine a challenge that has confronted the church
throughout its history:  Denominationalism!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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From Gary... Bible Reading March 10



Bible Reading  

March 10

The World English Bible

Mar. 10
Exodus 20

Exo 20:1 God spoke all these words, saying,
Exo 20:2 "I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Exo 20:3 You shall have no other gods before me.
Exo 20:4 "You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Exo 20:5 you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me,
Exo 20:6 and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Exo 20:7 "You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
Exo 20:8 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exo 20:9 You shall labor six days, and do all your work,
Exo 20:10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahweh your God. You shall not do any work in it, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your livestock, nor your stranger who is within your gates;
Exo 20:11 for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy.
Exo 20:12 "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which Yahweh your God gives you.
Exo 20:13 "You shall not murder.
Exo 20:14 "You shall not commit adultery.
Exo 20:15 "You shall not steal.
Exo 20:16 "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
Exo 20:17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's."
Exo 20:18 All the people perceived the thunderings, the lightnings, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking. When the people saw it, they trembled, and stayed at a distance.
Exo 20:19 They said to Moses, "Speak with us yourself, and we will listen; but don't let God speak with us, lest we die."
Exo 20:20 Moses said to the people, "Don't be afraid, for God has come to test you, and that his fear may be before you, that you won't sin."
Exo 20:21 The people stayed at a distance, and Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.
Exo 20:22 Yahweh said to Moses, "This is what you shall tell the children of Israel: 'You yourselves have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.
Exo 20:23 You shall most certainly not make alongside of me gods of silver, or gods of gold for yourselves.
Exo 20:24 You shall make an altar of earth for me, and shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your cattle. In every place where I record my name I will come to you and I will bless you.
Exo 20:25 If you make me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of cut stones; for if you lift up your tool on it, you have polluted it.

Exo 20:26 Neither shall you go up by steps to my altar, that your nakedness may not be exposed to it.'
 Mar. 9, 10
Mark 7

Mar 7:1 Then the Pharisees, and some of the scribes gathered together to him, having come from Jerusalem.
Mar 7:2 Now when they saw some of his disciples eating bread with defiled, that is, unwashed, hands, they found fault.
Mar 7:3 (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, don't eat unless they wash their hands and forearms, holding to the tradition of the elders.
Mar 7:4 They don't eat when they come from the marketplace, unless they bathe themselves, and there are many other things, which they have received to hold to: washings of cups, pitchers, bronze vessels, and couches.)
Mar 7:5 The Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why don't your disciples walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with unwashed hands?"
Mar 7:6 He answered them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
Mar 7:7 But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'
Mar 7:8 "For you set aside the commandment of God, and hold tightly to the tradition of men-the washing of pitchers and cups, and you do many other such things."
Mar 7:9 He said to them, "Full well do you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.
Mar 7:10 For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother;' and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.'
Mar 7:11 But you say, 'If a man tells his father or his mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban, that is to say, given to God;" '
Mar 7:12 then you no longer allow him to do anything for his father or his mother,
Mar 7:13 making void the word of God by your tradition, which you have handed down. You do many things like this."
Mar 7:14 He called all the multitude to himself, and said to them, "Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Mar 7:15 There is nothing from outside of the man, that going into him can defile him; but the things which proceed out of the man are those that defile the man.
Mar 7:16 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!"
Mar 7:17 When he had entered into a house away from the multitude, his disciples asked him about the parable.
Mar 7:18 He said to them, "Are you thus without understanding also? Don't you perceive that whatever goes into the man from outside can't defile him,
Mar 7:19 because it doesn't go into his heart, but into his stomach, then into the latrine, thus making all foods clean?"
Mar 7:20 He said, "That which proceeds out of the man, that defiles the man.
Mar 7:21 For from within, out of the hearts of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, sexual sins, murders, thefts,
Mar 7:22 covetings, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness.
Mar 7:23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."
Mar 7:24 From there he arose, and went away into the borders of Tyre and Sidon. He entered into a house, and didn't want anyone to know it, but he couldn't escape notice.
Mar 7:25 For a woman, whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, having heard of him, came and fell down at his feet.
Mar 7:26 Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by race. She begged him that he would cast the demon out of her daughter.
Mar 7:27 But Jesus said to her, "Let the children be filled first, for it is not appropriate to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."
Mar 7:28 But she answered him, "Yes, Lord. Yet even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."
Mar 7:29 He said to her, "For this saying, go your way. The demon has gone out of your daughter."
Mar 7:30 She went away to her house, and found the child having been laid on the bed, with the demon gone out.
Mar 7:31 Again he departed from the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and came to the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the region of Decapolis.
Mar 7:32 They brought to him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech. They begged him to lay his hand on him.
Mar 7:33 He took him aside from the multitude, privately, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat, and touched his tongue.
Mar 7:34 Looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, "Ephphatha!" that is, "Be opened!"
Mar 7:35 Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was released, and he spoke clearly.
Mar 7:36 He commanded them that they should tell no one, but the more he commanded them, so much the more widely they proclaimed it.
Mar 7:37 They were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well. He makes even the deaf hear, and the mute speak!" 

From Gary... I wonder


I wonder what she is thinking about?  Does she see something particular or has the underwater spectacle just mesmerized her?  Ever find yourself like this? And then there is this passage from the New Testament...

Luke, Chapter 2

 1 Now in those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled.  2 This was the first enrollment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.  3 All went to enroll themselves, everyone to his own city.  4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David;  5 to enroll himself with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him as wife, being pregnant. 

  6  While they were there, the day had come for her to give birth. 7 She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a feeding trough, because there was no room for them in the inn.  8 There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock.  9 Behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  10 The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people.  11 For there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  12 This is the sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a feeding trough.”  13 Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army praising God, and saying, 
  14 “Glory to God in the highest,
on earth peace, good will toward men.”

  15  When the angels went away from them into the sky, the shepherds said one to another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem, now, and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 They came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby was lying in the feeding trough.  17 When they saw it, they publicized widely the saying which was spoken to them about this child.  18 All who heard it wondered at the things which were spoken to them by the shepherds.  19 But Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart.


We read our Bibles and sometimes forget that the events recorded in them happened to real, genuine human beings.  Mary, the mother of Jesus is a prime example.  Although her role in the Bible has been down-played by many, nonetheless, it is significant.  And I wonder... what she must have thought about all the events that happened to her and to her oldest son. I wonder, I wonder!!!  Today, give a little thought to the mother of Jesus, how she must have felt and what might have been important to her.  Who knows, you might just find yourself looking like the girl in the picture above.