Note: Be sure to click on the title and read from the website so that you can view PowerPoint!
As I think of a kaleidoscope with a lens of varied hues and scenes all broken into segments, I pause. I reflect. I ponder the many stories and personal lives of the characters surrounding the Christmas story. I think about their attributes and how God specifically included each character within the fibers of the greatest and most retold story of all time!
You know them, the main characters: Mary, Joseph, and infant Jesus. Interesting that they are identified by their predominate character trait…Mary the virgin, Joseph the carpenter, and Jesus, the Christ child and Savior of the world. The supporting cast includes the Innkeeper, angels from on high, shepherds in the field, and wisemen from afar. Then there are the members of the backstory: Gabriel, Elizabeth, Zachariah, Simeon and Anna, and king Herod. All were chosen by God and with an array of social status and business endeavors. They represent the whole of the world from the least to the greatest. God is an all-inclusive God!
I had the privilege to play the character of Anna, the prophetess, during our Christmas musical at church. What a joyous day when she came upon the long-awaited Savior being presented to the Lord in the temple during the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses. All she had prayed for during her long life finally came to fruition. I imagine the smile on her wrinkled face and the twinkle in her eyes as she proclaimed to all what she had witnessed. Her prayers finally answered! The salvation and redemption for Jerusalem (and all mankind) was finally born…and during her lifetime! Prophecy had been fulfilled. She must have had a mighty faith. There is so much to be learned from Anna in just three short verses. I encourage you to do a study on this fabulous “old” woman whose life was full! She was a worshipholic! What I have gained from studying her life is that of true devotion. Devotion to God takes many outward forms, but always involves worship, witness, and waiting. I think we are perhaps pretty good at worship and waiting, (well…maybe not waiting, we are all pretty impatient!) but what about witness? Are we anxious to tell of the mighty deeds of God? Are we afraid to share what is going on in our life because we believe the focus is on us? Let me encourage you not to feel that way! Share with everyone the greatness of how God strengthens you, encourages you, and increases your faith! Is He providing your needs? Is He working in your life? Is He teaching you a hard lesson that causes you to depend more and more on His faithfulness? Tell us! Does a Jesus theme surround our conversations? How about to those other than with whom we regularly share our lives?
I often wonder what happened in Anna's life to cause such devotion. We do know that she came from the tribe of Asher and that she was widowed after only seven years of marriage. The events of her life must have been tough, but her love for God caused her to draw near to Him, with a fashion of intentional routine. Be an Anna. She was expectant! She was diligent! She was verbal! Anna, was proclaimed as the prophetess during a time when prophets were no longer recognized. I can just hear her telling of the day she met Jesus for the first time! Can you hear the excitement in her voice and the expressions on her face?! Emmanuel, God with us!
The few verses about Anna share much; however, there are numerous questions left unanswered. However hard her life must have been, she was known as the woman who spent a lifetime seeking, trusting, and worshipping.
God is always at work in our lives! But it’s the beautiful way He intertwines our lives together to enhance, support, and complete beautiful moments in time! Like a kaleidoscope, the overall image (story of our life) is blurred, the colors seem to blend into one another, and it’s difficult to see the clear crisp image. But oh, what a stunning rendering from the hand of the Master Artist, Storyteller, and Creator that exhibits only small portions of the whole. Those portions of our life are segmented and arranged to display beauty and to glorify God. It takes a great amount of trust to believe that what seems unclear to you now, is working for your good.
1 Corinthians 13:12 (NASB)
12 For now we see in a mirror [a]dimly, but then face to face;
now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
All of these moments… “Some small and intimate. Some big and splashy. Like the sparkling lights on a holiday tree, we string new moments together…watching them become the stories we tell...”
Before we step into 2018, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect through each month of 2017. Use your photos from your phone to help you remember. Begin to list the characters that have shared in the story of your life. Have you been one in the life of another? Were you a main character, supporting cast or a part of the back-story? How has God shone His mercy, grace, love or faithfulness? These are stories to be told and retold! They declare the greatness of God and they increase the faith of on-lookers! Sometimes God simply has an explosion of wonder to reveal to you! Much like the shepherds in the Christmas story, I think!
The story of our life includes community! Do you get it? Stop hiding out and focusing on self. Receive a blessing from others or be one! We are meant to encourage, admonish, and speak into the lives of those whom God has placed into our kaleidoscope! Even the event at the stable involved so many, yet we tend to think about it as little isolated segments. All of these stories are intertwined and with great mysterious purpose.
Only God sees the over-arching, perfect clear image. And He sees the wondrous picture of your life too! It’s a flawless plan unfolding and revolving around a story of perfect love. A kaleidoscope of moments...Moments beautifully shared with others, creating an overall image of fascinating wonder!
In this Christmas season, "reach out and touch someone!" May the characters surrounding you play an important role in helping you to tell the story of the love and faithfulness of God in your life. He is Emmanuel, God with us! And He is there at every turn, every question of what's next, and during your thoughts of how will I ever make it through?! Devote yourself to worship, witness, and waiting like Anna. Great things are just around the corner when you put your trust in Him!
Be blessed as you reflect on the moments and characters of Christmas...especially the main character and gift to us all, Jesus. May He always be the image at the center of your own personal kaleidoscope, refracting a unique and perfect picture of your life in Him!
"...and all who heard it marveled at the things which were told them..."
Kathy and I are grateful for the beautiful moments you have shared within the story of Restore Ministries. Whether you are a financial supporter, prayer warrior, blog reader, or retreat participant, the part you play is important in fulfilling God’s overall plan for this ministry and us. It is our prayer that each chapter continues to glorify God as we provide a ministry that offers opportunities to for you to awaken your passion and restore your deepest yearning to know Christ more intimately.
We wish you a Blessed Christmas! Monday Musings will return in January. Happy Holidays!
If you are interested in making an end of the year contribution to this ministry, please click here. We are a tax-deductible 501c3 organization.
Don't forget that we have a women's retreat in March! What a wonderful gift for Christmas...the gift of time spent with an influential woman who has impacted your life and Jesus!
Sign Up to Receive our Blog via email.
Click to set custom HTML