January 2018 Mind of the Missionary

Years ago, there was a commercial by Heinz ketchup which showed the faces of children, youth, and adults anticipating the first drop of ketchup from its bottle. When the ketchup finally poured out, each person was happily satisfied with its appearance. The French fries, the hot dogs, meat loaf, …everything just tasted better.

Now, it’s impossible to compare the anticipation of ketchup with that of Jesus’ birth, but it can point us toward what God set in motion. The Bible shows us that through the prophets, God was doing something new and special to restore His people. As a matter of fact, it would be even greater than how God had rescued His people from Egypt through Moses. Jeremiah expresses it this way, “The day is coming when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. The covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt.” (Jeremiah 31.31-32)

This anticipation continued to grow over the centuries until Jesus was born at the appointed time. Why else would King Herod be disturbed by the visit and news of the wise men. So, when Joseph and Mary presented baby Jesus in the Temple, the righteous and devout Simeon who was awaiting (anticipating) the Messiah and Israel’s rescue said, “Sovereign Lord,…I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to all the nations,….” (Luke 2.29-32)

The Long-Awaited Messiah had Come!! The Anticipation was Fulfilled!!

What about us? As followers of Christ and churches of Pickens Baptist Association, are we anticipating Jesus this Christmas season? Will our lives, our families, our churches, and our communities remain the same? Or will we allow Christ to shine through us to restore their brokenness?

There is no doubt that Christ has come! His coming can transform the world in which we live. However, it would be easy to allow the circumstances of our lives to quench the anticipation and expectation of Christmas. But may we not do this. May Christ’s coming as a “sign of God” be a “joy” to each of us. Since Jesus is our joy, may we let Christ’s light shine in this broken world to restore it as He desires.



Brother Lyle

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