Category Archives: Christmas

Homecoming Joy


moscow4 copy

Mike & Friends. Red Square Christmas.

Our phone calls out directions to a Christmas party as we drive past the festive lights in the new neighborhood. We collect our gifts from the car and walk towards the door. Laughter filters through a window, then our host greets us at the door. “Welcome! Merry Christmas!” The first round of hugs and kisses give way to “Here, let me take your coat, put those presents over by the tree, what would you like to drink?” The scent of fresh baked pies, clove spiced wassail and a cinnamon candle waft over us. Warm drink now in hand, the first, “Hi, how are you?!” is followed by more hugs … Later by a crackling fire someone reads about shepherds tending flocks, angels singing, wise men delivering gifts and the wonder-filled sight of the newly born child humbly nestled in Bethlehem’s manger. He is the Son of David, our Savior, Christ, the Lord!

Isn’t this how we start to learn joy? Warm and safe in a place where caring people welcome us unconditionally, not judging whether our year passed “successfully” or “painfully.” We want help to laugh with loved ones and be content!

Now let’s take this picture multiply the intensity times ten, square the welcome and then add the comfort to infinity! This is the level of joy waiting for us when our Savior, once swaddled in a manger, welcomes us to His feast in our true home we will enter when heavenly Jerusalem descends to earth.

As long as we are imagining that day picture too the hosts of believers waiting to say “Hi! Welcome to the wedding feast of the Lamb!” Pavel and Julia will want to greet you. Zbyszek from Poland, Sasha from Ukraine, Roman and Viktor from Russia too. Zvonko and Maritsa … Did you really think heaven only holds personal family and friends for us to see again. Won’t all the ones you’ve prayed for, supported, sent messengers with the gospel be waiting there too?

May the love of God, the joy of Jesus Christ and the peace of the Holy Spirit fill you this Christmas!

Light of the World


The Light of the WorldAs Christmas decorations go up house by house, the twinkles anticipate other lights soon to appear: sparkles in a child’s eye, glints on a bell or a candle’s warm glow. Heaven draws near to awaken our souls with a touch of light.

Our artificial lamps often obscure other lights placed by the “Ancient of Days.” When our Creator hung the stars, He not only sparked their atomic fires, but assigned names and voices to declare His glory around the globe (Psa. 19:1-4, 148:1-4, Isa. 40:26). God gave every star a name, not an ID number. He assigned songs, not the mere frequencies a NASA scientist faced with the infinity of space would choose.

Centuries ago stars led men from the East to find their Lord. Shepherds gazing at stars were startled into action by angels announcing their Messiah lying nearby in a bed of straw.

This Christmas as our friends in Eurasia watch stars twinkling on their side of the earth, join them in spreading Jesus’ story of glory, life and love. Every chance you find to give, the melody in someone’s Christmas carol sounds that much brighter and joyful.