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Upper Room Ministries Christmas Message

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Upper Room Ministries Christmas Message Empty Upper Room Ministries Christmas Message

Post  Admin on Fri 24 Dec 2010, 5:38 pm

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Blessings
The staff of Upper Room Ministries wishes you and your loved ones a blessed Christmas and a happy new year. May you know in unexpected ways God's promises given to the world in the form of a tiny newborn child.

Jesus at the Saloon

Suggested Bible Reading
In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, "Everyone is searching for you." He answered, "Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do." And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
-Mark 1:35-39 (NRSV)


Today's Scripture
Jesus said, "Let us go somewhere else - to the nearby villages - so I can preach there also. That is why I have come."-Mark 1:38 (NIV)


OVER the last 10 years I have conducted Christmas Eve services in some unlikely places - restaurants, firehouses, football-stadium parking lots, and prisons. On Christmas Eve two years ago, I participated as over 350 people, nearly all strangers to one another, gathered for a Christmas Eve service of carols, candlelight and Communion - in a downtown dance hall and bar. In this unlikely venue, I saw God move in the hearts and lives of people, most of whom never would have stepped through the door of a church. It was a powerful reminder to me that in Jesus, God reveals the intention to encounter us where we are.

Many times those of us in the church forget that Jesus was not born in a church or cathedral; he was born "off-site" in the dirt and dung of a stable for animals. He was born in the midst of the reality of life, not as in some stained-glass portrayal of a royal birth. This was a real God, for real people, in real life. That's what Emmanuel, "God with us," means.

The true miracle of Christmas is not found in the pageantry of a great Christmas Eve service. The true miracle of Christmas is the truth that God is with us in the dirt and dailyness and in the reality and imperfection of our lives.
J. Mack Strange (Tennessee, USA)
Prayer
O God, thank you that we do not have to be perfect to welcome you. We give thanks for the miracle of your coming to us. Amen.
Thought for the Day
Christmas is not as much about us coming to God as about God coming to us where we are, as we are.

Prayer Focus
Those not in church this christmas
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