• Will Spink
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    Director, Children's Ministry
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Pastor’s Note: Praying for a Christmas Miracle

These past few weeks in the Minor Prophets have been hard but good for me. They have hurt in a healing way. God has called my heart out and called my heart home. The list of idols He has shown me in my life has grown (I had to get a bigger notepad), and so has the assurance of his unending love and patience with me (I get to pray more!).

The bottom line as the prophets trumpet “Repent” over and over is that God is calling me into deeper relationship with Him – to knowing Him more, to valuing Him above all else, to seeing my life with Him as that which flows into every other area of life. I’m thankful that God is working in my heart, and I’m thankful He’s working in similar ways in many of yours, too. Thanks to so many of you who have shared that with me and are praying for me. God is calling us together to know Him more and to be satisfied and fulfilled in Him.

And then December comes. … Christmas parties, long car trips, Christmas music, family traditions, gifts to purchase, Christmas concerts, food to bake, Christmas concerts, semester-ending school stuff, Christmas cards to mail, planning for 2020, people to serve … all in 24 or so days? Are we serious? Where in all of this am I supposed to know God more? Won’t that be one relationship that can wait until next year to get my attention? From where I sit in late November, it will be a Christmas miracle if I am awake on December 25!

That’s what I mean when I say I’m praying for a Christmas miracle, because I am – the miracle that God would meet busy people like you and me this Christmas and take us deeper in our relationship with Him. I don’t want his work to stop for me to busy myself with celebrating his birth. Ha! I laughed as I wrote that, but isn’t it true? Don’t I avoid Him even by throwing Him a birthday party, so to speak? Is my heart not so skilled at keeping God at arms’ length from me? Father, forgive me. Jesus, have mercy on us. Holy Spirit, come help us!

See, the miracle of Christmas is that God actually enters into our crazy, busy mess himself – that’s exactly where He shows up in a stable in Bethlehem. He comes to tired shepherds, to distracted religious leaders, to people just trying to get through the day and make it to the end of another year. And his very purpose in coming is that we might see the Word made flesh, God become man, and know the glory of God. His desire is not merely to do something for us but – miracle of miracles – have God and sinners be reconciled, give hungry people a taste of his heavenly provision.

So, please celebrate Christmas with gusto – meditate on the music, worship with your church family, share the joy with kids, friends, and neighbors. But would you also join me in praying that God would make us mindful of that incredible reality of his love this Christmas season? Would you pray that God would remind us that He was born that we might truly know Him – and that in the midst of all the agendas we have this December, He maintains his agenda of fostering relationship with us? Would you pray that we would truly experience Him, not merely learn some more things about Him?

He comes to topple idols in my heart that try to enslave me to sin. He comes to make his blessings flow in the cursed world I live in. He comes to turn self-focused, distracted eyes to heaven – just as He did 2,000 years ago. What a miracle! He will do it again this year!