Sunday, December 7, 2014

The First Noel

So everyone faint. I actually went to a small group today. Yep that makes twice this year. The last time I went was in July when I was dog/cat/house sitting for my friends in south Arlington. I stayed for 30 minutes because I had to go work the media. So today since I had week two off from working up in the media (they are working in new people), I actually went. And I stayed for the entire time. I went to one that three friends of mine were in because the last time I was in a small group was with them four years ago. I really liked it and of course the people are super nice. So I will be back. I need to do this. I also inquired about joining a community band. I got an email back. I am considering jumping back on the band wagon (ha! band wagon - I crack myself up) in January. That is because of some social stuff (woo hoo I am getting social again) that I planned on doing the next couple of weeks. Oh yeah my social calendar is filling up. This next weekend I am going to go see one of my former students from Hill College get her master's degree. I am so flipping proud of her. She is also a certified teacher and cannot wait to embark upon her teaching career. She is going to do great! Then I was thinking of going to the faculty and staff Christmas get together on Friday after work. Graduation is on Saturday so I will be able to do my small group's white elephant gift thing. Gonna inquire about it. Then the following weekend when school is out for two whole weeks, I was thinking of going caroling with my small group (yep going back). And then heading down to La Grange to meet with my happy couple. I got my minister's license last year and am supposed to perform my first wedding in October of 2015. Yep Reverend Waddle is in da house folks! It is a Star Wars themed wedding. If I do not get another one, this is very appropriate that this will be my first one. And yes I have to dress in character. In addition I get to meet the sweet dogs and kitty I will be taking care of over part of break, So social calendar filling up. And I am happy about that. I really do need to stop living like a hermit on the weekends.
So today in group we talked about the Christmas story out of Luke 1. The first Christmas (henceforth why I have selected The First Noel for today's installment on the 24 Days of Christmas blog posts). I have read the story multiple times, but never really thought about how nothing about that first Christmas was easy. If we think we have it hard with the lights and the shopping and figuring out which parties we will be attending, think about Mary and Joseph, First, she was just a teen when an angel of the Lord visited her to tell her the great news, She had been selected to carry the Son of God, And she was not married. Hmmm. Wonder how that went over back in the day. I do not think she could really go around spreading the joyous news. Thankfully she had her cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant with John who totally understood. Then there is the matter of Joseph who she is betrothed to. Ummm yeah, I imagine he took the news real well. When it comes time for her to deliver they have to make their way to Bethlehem because of a census that is being taken in all the land. Everybody and their grandmother is going there. They did not exactly have the luxury of flying or driving. I do not imagine it was easy riding on a donkey nine months pregnant (I would not know since I have never been pregnant). Now you would think after dealing with the whole I am not married and am a pregnant teenager thing and then traveling by donkey while nine months pregnant that it would get easier. It does not. There was no room for them at the Bethlehem Marriott. None. So then they have to figure out where she is going to go so she does not have to give birth to the Lord on the back of a donkey. Enter the inn keeper who says she can use the stable. A stable with a bunch of smelly animals. Better than nothing. And thus is how the Savior of the world came into this fallen world. In a stable with a bunch of smelly animals. Nothing fancy about the first Christmas. Nothing easy about the first Christmas. Nothing easy afterward since they had to flee for Egypt to prevent Jesus from being killed as a baby.
Thinking about all of this it is just hits me in a different way. How God did not need to come into this world in a grand gesture. No parades. No staff of servants and nurses and doctors. No red carpets. Just a very quiet and normal way to enter the world. I do not know quite what I want to say, and may come back to tweak this, I did think of my friend again today. During the discussion time in small group and then during the sermon. I have made note to have him listen to the sermon from today. It was about God being in the business of taking impossibly bad situations and turning them into impossibly good situations. I do not think it is a coincidence that my friend is going through what he is going through, I have a feeling God is up to something in his life. If he was not going through what he is going through I would probably never have talked to him. Never had been praying for him. I do not know the plans that God has for his life. I just know that I need to be praying, having hope, trusting, having faith and belief. God loves him right where he is at and will meet him in the midst of his need. I pray for God to strengthen and prepare me for when it does come time to begin talking about eternal things. I pray for my friend to be transformed by the very One who loved us so much that he chose to come into this world in a very ordinary and quiet way.
Enjoy this video of David Archuleta. Think about that first Christmas and how nothing was easy for them. I think that one of the reasons is because God wanted to teach them to depend on Him for every single aspect of their lives. He does that repeatedly in the Bible.

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