A Deceiver’s Voice

NOTE: This narrative is based in scripture and imagined by fiction. It’s the Christmas story told by those closest to the event, read accordingly. Thanks.

The Voices of Christmas

Part Eight

Hope springs eternal. Perhaps so, and I dread that it might, because hope fills me with fear and I hate being afraid. I much prefer to fill the hearts of others with it.

THE NEWS

Word of this virgin girl’s pregnancy reached my ears. At first I was doubtful and dismissive for Nazareth fails to square up with expectations. But then a nagging sense of something grew like a thorn in my eye and I renewed my interest with hurried passion. Against all knowledge I came to believe it was her, that she was the one.

Now I must act for the one within her must not come to be.

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NAZARETH

It was brilliant to hide her in that pitiful village, for it’s nothing but a stain on the road, a sorry pit for the pathetic and impoverished. It’s a place to go unnoticed. Their only distinction is being nothing special. So, I’ll hand it to him, I nearly missed it.

Note: If I can end the baby there then I can end it for all time everywhere.

 MY PLAN

  • Fill Joseph’s heart with jealousy, betrayal and bitterness.
  • Break up the betrothal and prevent the marriage.
  • Cast Mary in the light of adultery, fornication and defilement.
  • Create a physical trauma that will kill her unborn baby.
  • If she goes to Bethlehem then evil must befall her on the journey.
  • But, if she makes it, I’ll force her to give birth in filthy, unclean conditions.
  • Daniel’s Magi will find the baby and I’ll force them back to Herod.
  • I’ll give King Herod the idea of killing the baby, or all the babies.
  • But if they escape Judea, I’ll make sure they engage violent men.

I must thwart the ancient one’s plan to redeem the world. If he comes here he will be crowned the King of Kings and will offer mercy and grace to mankind. So, he must not be born, he must die and not on a hill faraway on an old rugged cross, but from a miscarriage, or disease, or an infection. Maybe he could be crushed by an animal in the stable, hmmm, so many possibilities.

The forces of this broken world must be unleashed for his destruction. The child must never take his first breath. But if somehow he makes it to birth then I’ll intensify my efforts to destroy him.

Note: I must not fail at this.

AND ME?

You know me. I am the Great Deceiver, the Prince of Darkness, a liar and the father of lies. I am Satan and let no one doubt my intension or my resolve.

AND THE PROPHECIES?

There won’t be any fulfilled prophecies. There will be no good news, no miracles, signs or wonders. The brokenhearted will not be bound up. The sinners will go unforgiven. The prisoners will not be released. There will be no Prince of Peace or Wonderful Counselor. I will not allow this merry event to happen but instead will plunge this world into everlasting darkness.

I am the great serpent and I rule this world through hopelessness and despair.

This I vow: The Galilean girl and her baby will not emerge victorious.

 

The Neighbor

NOTE-this narrative is from scripture and imagined by fiction. It’s the Christmas story as told by those closest to the event. Please read accordingly. Thanks.

The Voices of Christmas

Part Seven

A CONVERSATION ON THE ROAD TO BETHLEHEM

On the Way to
Conversation On The Way to Register-Bethlehem

SIMEON: This census makes no sense. Augustus doesn’t care how many Jews live in Palestine. He’s just flexing his muscles to get more taxes. If they have our names and know where we live and how we make a living then they can broaden the tax base. The Emperor gets richer and we get poorer.

BENJAMIN: You seem awfully bitter Simeon. I know Rome is brutally uncaring about our condition and would slaughter us if it wasn’t for the income we provide.

But we shouldn’t waste our time complaining about Rome. We should talk about the coming Messiah, and how he will restore our land and redeem us back to Yahweh.

SIMEON: There you go again with that Messiah talk. Benjamin, search your heart, you know there’s no Messiah coming to deliver us, there isn’t an anointed one to restore us. We are on our own. I gave up on the Messiah dream a long time ago and so should you.

And this ridiculous census is just another example of how powerless we are. It’s stupid that we have to go to Bethlehem. Why can’t Rome count us in the towns and villages we live in? It’s just wrong that we travel at our expense to register for increased taxes.

BENJAMIN: I wish you wouldn’t talk like that, it’s discouraging and faithless. Have you given up on God? Is your heart of stone? If Abraham were here would you still speak these blasphemous words? I saw you last week in synagogue so I know you heard the rabbi read from Isaiah, did you pay attention?

“Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

And then…

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 

Simeon, the Lord’s anointed is coming, and not in the distant future but in a matter of weeks or maybe even days!

SIMEON: How can you talk like this? You are not a prophet or the son of a prophet. You can’t possibly know about the coming Messiah, as if there was anything to know.

BENJAMIN: I’ll tell you, for what I know is exciting and full of living hope. The virgin is with child and will soon deliver a son, and will name him Yeshua, our God saves! My friend, lift up your face to the Lord for he is coming to be with us!”

SIMEON: How do you know this? How can you be so certain?

BENJAMIN: I know because I know the girl, she and her family are our neighbors in Nazareth. Have you not heard about this in Tiberius? Is your city so full of Romans that the good news hasn’t reached your ears? Gabriel appeared to her and foretold these things. Her baby is of the Holy Spirit, he is the anointed of God, the Son of David. And it could happen even while we are in Bethlehem, for they are going there to register.

SIMEON: In Bethlehem? Now you are just talking nonsense.

BENJAMIN: No I’m not. Do you remember Micah, the Rabbi also read:

“But you, Bethlehem, though small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come one    who will rule over Israel, whose origins are from ancient times.” 

I have seen Mary, I have spoken with her and with Jospeh, and if you could talk to them you would believe as I do. My brother, the coming of the Lord is happening. He will soon arrive and his birth will be a most merry event for us all, and for all the world.

Be of good cheer, and restore your heart in the Lord, for soon, he is coming near.

Blessed be the name of the Lord!

My Favorite Aunt

NOTE-this narrative is from scripture and imagined by fiction. It’s the Christmas story as told by those closest to the event. Please read accordingly. Thanks.

The Voices of Christmas

Part Six

It didn’t surprise me, not really, when my husband told me about Gabriel’s message of our having a son. It didn’t come as a surprise because I never stopped believing that God would answer our prayers.

angel_appearing_zacharias_mann
Gabriel, a divine messenger speaking to Zechariah

THIS SURPRISED ME

What did surprise me was that six months later my niece was also with child, except she wasn’t advanced in years like me, but young and in the prime of youth.

She came to visit at our home in Ein Karem, in the foothills of western Jerusalem. The moment she walked in something amazing happened, in fact, so amazing that it was recorded in the text of scripture:

When I heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in my womb, and I was filled with the Holy Spirit and in a loud voice I exclaimed,

Mary, blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!

And Mary replied,

“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me–holy is his name.”

Mary stayed for three months but went home when it was time for my son to be born. But during those months we spoke of everything and I marveled at all of it.

My sweet, young niece, would give birth to the Messiah.

NOBODY BELIEVED

Mary is brave and has a strength beyond her years. But in quiet moments, far removed from Nazareth, she spoke of the accusations and disapproving looks of the people. She was sad about Joseph terminating their betrothal, believing that she had given herself to another. She wept for the shame in her Fathers’s voice and the tears on her Mother’s face.

I knew, of course, that later Gabriel appeared to Joseph to explain everything. But until he did, nobody believed her: not her fiancé, her family, her Rabbi, or the people of Nazareth. Nobody believed.

EXCEPT ME

I believed her because I believed in the divine messenger’s message. I believed that Mary’s baby would one day deliver us all. I soothed her troubled mind, gave her warm reassurance and provided all the comfort I could.

We took care of each other. We were two women, one old and one young and both in their first experience at giving birth. One of us carried Yeshua, God’s only son, and the other Yohhanan, God’s greatest prophet. Both would be births of glad tidings, but one would be especially merry!

Together, each in their way, they would bring salvation to the world.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

 

A Confused & Concerned Rabbi

NOTE-this series is a narrative from both scripture and fiction. It’s the Christmas story as told by those closest to the event. Please read accordingly. Thank you.

The Voices of Christmas

Part Five

I am Rabbi Judah Ben Moyce, but the villagers call me Rabbi Morty, short for Mordecai, my father, who served Nazareth as Rabbi for over fifty years, as did his father.

MY CONCERN

Our village is normally a place of peace and tranquility. But lately there has been much concern about a young woman who is expecting a baby. That’s normally a reason to celebrate and a blessing for the village. But she isn’t married, at least not by me.

I am concerned and a Rabbi shouldn’t be concerned about such things.

MY CONFUSION

Even more troubling is that she claims to still be a virgin, and that her baby comes from the Holy Spirit. Perhaps most upsetting is her claim that her son will be the Messiah. How she knows she will have a son is beyond me.

Saying such things is shameful and the whole village is in an uproar.

Her explanation is that the angel Gabriel told her these things. Well, she is certainly pregnant, we can all plainly see it. Personally, in all my years as Rabbi I have never heard such blasphemy.  Consider this:

  • The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem, not Nazareth.
  • When he comes he will overthrow our enemies.
  • He will be anointed with the Spirit of God.
  • He will proclaim freedom for prisoners and preach good news to the poor.
  • The Messiah will sit on the throne of David and reign over the kingdom.

This thirteen year old girl, whom we’ve known since she was born, couldn’t possibly bring the Messiah into the world. And Joseph, although a good man, is nothing more than a carpenter’s apprentice. The King of Kings who will lift up a banner to the nations just couldn’t come from these people. They are too common, too ordinary, there’s not anything special about them. It’s more than implausible, it’s impossible.

I’m confused and a Rabbi shouldn’t be confused.

baby-jesus-mary-joseph-by-dewey
They don’t appear to be royalty. That doesn’t appear to be a royal palace. It’s not really close to anything resembling the divine or the miraculous. It can’t be. 

MY BELIEF

I have always believed that when the Son of David comes he will come in royalty, with gifts befitting a King. That the cherubim and seraphim will appear to praise and glorify the Lord and to announce the birth of our Emanuel. That great signs will appear and emissaries from the nations will come to worship him. That the birth of Christ will be a merry event and celebrated around the world.

But no, not this girl, not this village, I’m just not seeing it. 

 

 

 

A Gracious Grandmother

NOTE-this December series is a narrative from scripture and from fiction. It’s the story of Christmas as told by those who were closest to the event. Please read accordingly, thanks.

The Voices of Christmas

Part Four

We have lived on this land for hundreds of years, well, I mean we and our ancestors. It’s our home and the only place I’ve ever known, the only place I’ve ever wanted to be. And why would I ever want to leave? What could possibly move me from the birthplace of my mother and grandmother and her grandmother? The answer is nothing at all.

Rueben and I have eight children, five sons and three precious jewels for daughters, may the Lord be praised. My second is Miriam, or Mary, as her name is known outside of our culture. King Solomon said that foolishness is fixed in the heart of a child, and by long experience we know his words are true.

Well, Except for Mary

She has been a wonderful child, beautiful of heart, lovely of soul, and sweet of spirit and no daughter has ever been more loving. Her constant devotion has been to give praise to the Lord and to bring honor to her dad.

When she turned seven we pledged her to Joseph, the youngest son of our village carpenter and mason. We believed it a good match, that he would become as his father, a Godly and righteous man. It was our joy to watch them grow up and were confident that they would do well in the eyes of the lord. .

Well, Except for Mary

Try to imagine our devastation when she told us she that was with child. We wept and grieved, for it couldn’t be, it was unacceptable and inexcusable. She offered an explanation but we didn’t believe her, it was just too much to believe.

She promised us that she and Joseph had not been together, which Joseph also affirmed, which for him meant that she had been with another. He was torn apart and quickly pursued dissolving the pledge. How could she do this to him? We kept thinking…

“A daughter doesn’t immerse her family in shame by violating her virtue.”

But then, something happened, Joseph changed his mind. He told us an angel had appeared to him and said that Mary ‘s pregnancy was of the Holy Spirit, and that her virtue was intact. He spoke with faith’s conviction and his eyes were full of truth. We believed him. And I marveled at my daughter for no one could have coped with the accusations, public shame, and personal devastation, not a girl anywhere.

Well, Except for Mary

It was then our families gathered and joyously listened as they shared their angel stories, and told them over and over. It was beautiful. My daughter’s son, my grandson, will be called the Son of the Most High and will inherit King David’s throne and reign over the kingdom of God. May the birth of the Christ child be merry!

He is to be the Messiah, the Lord’s Anointed, and will bring good news to the poor and bind the broken hearted.

My grandson will be Yeshua, the salvation of God, and I will hold him in my arms.

baby born

So, I prayed and vowed that I would protect and care for my daughter and grandson in every way possible. God didn’t choose me to be the Messiah’s mother, he chose my daughter, and so, like my Heavenly Father, I have chosen her too.

I will love as no mother, or grandmother, has ever loved.

May the Lord grant me the strength of Samson, the wisdom of Solomon, and the fortitude of Deborah, the Judge of Israel, for I pledge my life to the two people whom all evil will set its might against.

I am Abarrane, mother of Mary and grandmother to Yeshua.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

It’s Time For Me to Go

NOTE-this December series is a narrative from scripture and from fiction. It’s the story of Christmas as told by those who were closest to the event. Please read accordingly, thanks.

The Voices of Christmas

Part Three

You haven’t known me but I’ve known you for everything was put into being by me. I am God. You will say, “Wait, we do you know you,” but no, you haven’t, not really.

A sacrifice was essential, and it was agreed that it would be me. This meant I would:

  • let go of my equality as God
  • renounce divinity and sovereignty
  • leave the throne of glory
  • become a man born from a woman
  • be obedient even to death on a cross

You have called me Lord, Sovereign and King, and those are right and true. But soon  the name you will connect with the most is:

Jesus of Nazareth

You will come to know me as Emanuel, Messiah, the Son of God

   God will become something less to achieve something more. I know it borders on the bizarre, but you are the final act in the act of creation and your needs are immense, seemingly impossible. But what is impossible with man is possible with God.

Humanity’s salvation will not be achieved by God in heaven, but by man on earth.

The plan made before man walked the earth was for me to come to you. This will be done so that you can know how much you are loved. It’s impossible for you to repair your own spiritual condition, and your condition is that you have separated yourselves from us and have no way back.

So, rather than leave you detached and distant, your God is coming near.

   The angels have praised and glorified my name. The great and fearsome cherubim and seraphim have declared my excellence. With a final divine thought I empty myself of all that makes me deity, it’s been set aside to be reclaimed on the day I return.

In one of your “blinks of an eye,” the Holy Spirit will place me in the womb of young woman in Nazareth, in Galilee. She is a virgin whom we favor for she is remarkable, full of faith and obedience. She has a heart as pure as the snows of Mt. Herman. Soon she will be my mother.

My birth will fulfill prophecies, be announced by angels and witnessed by herdsmen. It will be good news for all the people and accompanied by miraculous signs, for my birth will be miraculous.

cole-angel-shepherds

Now, if you will excuse me, it is time for me go. In a moment of splendorous majesty, God the Father and God the Spirit have anointed me, and I have been sent.

Take heart and do not be discouraged for the Lord your God is coming to you and my coming will be joyous and most merry!

Blessed be the name of the Lord!

 

 

 

Halos and Wings: Maybe?

NOTE-this December series is a narrative from scripture and from fiction. It’s the story of Christmas as told by those who were closest to the event. Please read accordingly, thanks.

The Voices of Christmas

Part Two

    There isn’t a memory of my not being here. As far as I can determine I have always been in the presence of God. To comprehend his presence requires a language that none of you speak, it’s angelic and beyond your grasp. For you were made just a little lower. Words like glory, splendor, majesty and radiance speak of his presence, but again, they are limited in scope.

I have found that many believe that we angels look something like this: 

IMG_0029
Little angels to be sure, but not exactly what we look like; close, really very close, but no and especially not the big, goofy one in the back.

    It’s believed that angels have bright, shiny halo’s and wings of fluffy white feathers, it’s a common belief. In truth, we can appear in almost any form.

THE LORD

The Lord is our boss and we exist awaiting his will. Most of our work is giving messages to mortals. Sometimes we look divine and sometimes not.

AND ME?

My name is Gabriel and I stand in the presence of God. I am sent to speak to those the Lord want’s spoken to. I deliver his messages and my favorites are the messages of good news.

For example, one day I was standing with the heavenly host, just plumping and fluffing my wings, when the Lord spoke my name.

(we don’t really count time in days, it’s just for your benefit) 

“Gabriel” the voice of God said.

“Yes, Lord, how may I serve you”?

“I need you to give some news to a couple of people. Are you ready”?

“Yes, Lord, always,” I said. “What is your command”?

“I need you to speak to Zechariah the priest, you will find him serving in the temple. Tell him that his wife is going to have a baby, that they will name him John, and that he will be the messenger for my anointed one”.

This was momentous, it was huge, for we the heavenly host have known for thousands of years that a day would come when our Lord would give salvation to the world. John’s coming was the first active step towards the Messiah’s birth. And I have been chosen to deliver the message. Wow, I wouldn’t want to be around Michael tonight, I’m sure he thought he would get this one.

And then, I had no more than returned when he sent me back. He sent me to a young Jewish girl named Mary.

He said, “Tell her that she will be with child from the power of the Holy Spirit and that she is to name him Yeshua, meaning God Saves! That he will be called the Son of the Most High and will inherit the throne of David.”

Wow, talk about an important mission with an essential message. Yeshua, born to a virgin and destined to die for Yahweh’s creation. First it was Zechariah, Elizabeth and John, and now Yeshua announces the time of Emanuel, for God to be with his people!

GOD’S SON

I have served the Son of God for millenniums and now the Lord is sending his Anointed. Soon he will leave to go and do what was chosen before time, to provide salvation for the world.

THE SACRED

These assignments were crafted from the sacred and divine. There has been nothing else as important.

I tell you that I am Gabriel and I stand in the presence of God. I give witness that his grace and mercy are coming to your land. A savior will be born to you and it will be good news for all the people.

It will be good news of the most merry kind.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

 

When God Spoke of Christmas

NOTE-This December series is a narrative based on scripture and fiction. It’s the story of Christmas as told by those who were closest to the event. Thank you.

The Voices of Christmas

Part One

I don’t feel the need to explain myself, for I am the Lord Almighty, The Great I Am. I existed before you and before time began. But I share these words with you because you are my greatest creation and my most prized possession.

THE PLAN

It was never my plan to leave you alone and lonely. It was never my intention to abandon, ignore or forget you, for how could a loving father forget his children? No, my plan has always been to give you an overwhelming measure of amazing grace. I created you to save you, but you could never be saved until you knew you needed saving.

The saving part has finally come.

Because I am God you must know that I have a universe of options and choices. Your salvation could have been achieved in as many ways as there are stars in your sky. It could happen in any fashion or circumstance of my choosing.

Starry Sky
A universe of stars, a universe of choices for the Lord our God. He chose us.

But I decided to save you by sending myself to the earth. Don’t be confused, the self I send will be my Son, for we are three but one. I know, it’s not an easy concept, and it would be simpler if I revealed myself as a single deity. But once you think about it you will realize that this is better. You see, the Father, Son, and Spirit reflect the nature of  man and woman. You are uniquely male and female because of us, for we are your family, and to bring salvation to the world will require a family. We have one in mind.

THE SON

Our son will be conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. On the day and moment of my choosing he will be born to the woman we determined ahead of time. You will learn more about this later. But it will happen and when it does all creation will cry out in glory to my name.

BY THE WAY…

You won’t be saved because of his birth. No, it’s not his brith that will save you but his death. Yes, you heard me right. Our son will be born to die and his death will make your salvation real. Not to overwhelm you, but more than his death will be his resurrection that provides eternal life. You see, because of his resurrection you will have hope, the living hope of the resurrected, living Messiah.

Why are we doing this? Because we love you and want to give you the greatest gift of all, the gift of the Son of God, it will be a merry event!

Now I must go. The time has come and the Spirit and I have a few things to say to the Son before he empties himself of power and dominion and becomes a fetus within a young woman’s womb. She lives in Nazareth, it’s a tiny village in Galilee.

Be strong and courageous. More details will come.

My Love To All,

Your Heavenly Father

A Beautiful Day For a Wedding

Sunday afternoon I was in College Station to perform a wedding. The happy couple are members of my church and have planned long and prepared well. It was a joy and an honor to officiate their wedding as a wedding is about getting married.

Yesterday they had their wedding, today they are married.

The word “wedding” comes from the Old English “weddian” meaning, “a pledge.” A wedding is the joining of two people who have pledged to each other.

A wedding gives birth to a marriage. 

Weddings are rich in tradition and range from the fabulously expensive big white wedding to two people standing in my office. Typically, weddings contain the following elements:

  • Someone to perform the ceremony
  • A wedding license
  • Vows or words of promise
  • Rings
  • A verbal response of “I do”
  • The pronouncement of “husband and wife”
  • A kiss of some kind

I perform on average six weddings a year. Some are held in churches while others are event/destination weddings. Some are members of my church and some are from the community. Half a dozen a year doesn’t sound like much, but I’ve been doing them for forty years.

Some observations from having officiated 240 weddings:

  • Grooms are typically nervous, perspire and wonder why all the expense and fuss.
  • It’s a priceless look on a groom’s face when he sees his bride walking up the aisle.
  • I’ve never seen a bride walk the aisle who wasn’t smiling radiantly.
  • Someone cries: the bride, groom, parent, grandparent, or all of them.
  • No matter what they say, wedding pictures never take “just a few minutes.”
  • Receptions are about: relief, joy, tears, celebration, pride, and a little sadness too.

Weddings are rich in tradition and laced with sacred customs.

KrisandraEvans.com | Atlanta Wedding Photographer | Yonah Mountain Vineyard
Not us, or our wedding place, but close, really very close.

I’ve performed weddings in huge churches, tiny churches, standing in two feet of snow, standing on the edge of mountain cliffs, next to rivers, in homes and wedding chapels, in the parlors of Bed and Breakfasts, in my office and all kinds of places.

The two most memorable weddings?

My own and my daughters.

 

 

 

 

The Loyal Sports Fan

Team loyalty gets me into trouble with the friendly and the not so friendly. I know, already you are asking, “What?” Well, does team loyalty necessitate an acidic hatred of all other players, coaches, teams and cities?

Some say a definitive yes. I dare to say a cautious no. 

Don’t hate me.

 FAN LOYALTY?

  • Root for the local team, hate all others.
  • If two local teams: swear undying loyalty to whoever came first.
  • Only wear the caps, shirts, jackets and underwear of your team.
  • Amp up support for post season events.
  • Face painting strongly recommended, but not absolute.
  • Body painting for men with weight problems acceptable.
  • Tailgate & halftime parties, snacks, and victory celebrations required.
  • Boo, hiss, complain, insult, yell, and throw things at opposing teams
  • (If watching on TV, ignore the thing about throwing stuff)

HERE’S A THING

What happens when your company relocates you to another city? Do you remain loyal to your old team or do you drop them and embrace a new one?

EXAMPLES…

If you get transferred from Boston to Dallas are you required to hate the Patriots and love the Cowboys?

If you get transferred from Houston to New York are you required to hate the Astros and love the Yankees?

I know, the wisdom of Solomon wouldn’t be enough. 

Speaking of loyalty, should you be loyal to your spouse only when you are in town? Can you be unfaithful as long as you are in another city? Shouldn’t spousal loyalty be absolute regardless of where you are? Does geography determine loyalty?

Here’s another: Do you still love America when you are out of the country? Based on Fan Loyalty Guidelines, when I’m in Port-au-Prince, Mexico City,  Beijing or Jerusalem I should be loyal to Haiti, Mexico, China and Israel. It’s just a thought.

AND ME?

Forty years ago I became a Florida Gator fan. It doesn’t matter why. We currently live in Houston, Texas and have for 23 years. It’s been tough as there are several college teams of note in this state. Here is how I’ve steered through these shark-infested waters.

Florida Field
That’s not me there on the left. Close, really very close, but no. 
  • I love the Texas Aggies, Longhorns, Red-Raiders, Cougars, Horned Frogs, Mustangs and Bears and just over 1200 high school teams.
  • I love the: Texans, Cowboys, Astros, Rangers, Rockets and Mavericks

Sure, I have my favorites, but I don’t boo, hiss, say horrible things or chuck stuff at the other players. Can I cheer, root, clap, and support my team without hating and denigrating the other teams and players?

NOW JESUS

His disciples once rebuked a man for trying to do miracles. Jesus told them to leave him alone, that he wasn’t their enemy.

Speaking of enemies, Jesus taught his followers to pray for them, to be kind to those who would persecute them, and to forgive everyone.

I know, it’s tough to discuss sports and fan loyalty when you bring Jesus into it. 

TO CLOSE

This morning I’m giving thanks that even though he loved his fellow Israelites, Jesus still offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for all others too. Like me.

Thank you Jesus for not booing, hissing, yelling or saying horrible things or throwing things at me because I’m not from Jerusalem. You are the best!

Shalom