Daily bread

I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
Jeremiah 17:10 KJV



The magic of Christmas

“Joseph Who?” 

Luke only mentions his name a couple of times; Mark and John not at all. The little we do know of Joseph comes from a few verses in Matthew—and that’s not a lot. We know he cared enough for Mary that he wanted to protect her from the public scorn and disgrace that a young woman in her circumstances was destined for. 

We know he was a righteous man that believed what the angel of the Lord had spoken to him (in a dream; always in a dream) and thus was obedient in all that he was asked to do and to be. We know he led his family to Bethlehem for the census and was resourceful in providing a safe (yet humble) space for his young bride to give birth. And we know he protected his young family from danger when he fled with them in the middle of the night to Egypt to keep them safe from Herod’s wrath. Caring, protective, righteous, believing, obedient, providing . . . a pretty good list of qualities, to say the least. 

And yet Joseph was never intended to be a main character in the story. Although his role was important, he realized that he was not the point—Jesus was. It is as if he voluntarily stepped aside, into the background, in order for the main character to take center stage. His role in this drama would be one of background rather than spotlight. He was simply part of the supporting cast, somehow both recognizing and embracing this reality. 

In fact, Joseph’s very best work—the nurture, care, and guidance of Jesus in his formative years—was done in virtual anonymity. Not a word, other than the instance at the temple when Jesus was twelve, was ever written about it. He was a hidden and silent partner in the unfolding story of God’s life on earth. For the most part, he was unrecognized, unsung, and unnoticed—and it is simply beautiful. 

During this Christmas season, I want to be more like Joseph—to realize that Jesus is the point of the story and therefore to embrace the covert and behind-the-scenes ways we are called to help “bring him into” this dark and broken world. 

Ryan Gray 
Adult Ministries 

Scripture Reference: Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Matthew 1:18 KJV


The magic of Christmas


The birth of Jesus was a glorious interruption—an interruption in the history of our world. But on a personal, intimate level, it was an interruption in the lives of his earthly parents, Mary and Joseph. They had planned to be married, but they had not planned for a pregnancy conceived by God. They had not planned for Mary to be carrying the Savior of the World. 

God even interrupted the shepherds’ daily work—hanging out on a hillside, counting sheep—with his glory! 

Luke 2:13–14: Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” 

In turn, the shepherds interrupted what was expected of them and took off to find the baby Jesus. Talk about spontaneity—those shepherds went AWOL because God interrupted their routine! 

During this Christmas season when we are so busy working for God, make sure you leave time, space, and energy to be open to the unexpected. Let God interrupt your life! Maybe he desires to change your daily outlook. Have you grown tired or complacent or even a little bored in your journey with God? 

Maybe you’ve had enough of a situation or a person—you’re just worn slap out. Maybe you need to drop the mask that everything is fine and good and you can handle it all. Can I get an Amen? God wants to gloriously interrupt your journey in order to raise you up to a higher level of peace and intimacy in knowing him. Take the time to step away from your routine, from what is expected, and let a glorious interruption happen this season! 

Jána Guynn
Service Programming

Scripture Reference: And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2:13‭-‬14 KJV