Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Have You Ever Wondered?

Guest Post by Brian Austin

A number of Bible passages tell us that Jesus was with God in the beginning, and that He created all things.

Have you ever wondered what it cost the Creator of the Universe to commit Himself to nine months in the womb of a teenage girl? And why an unmarried girl, a virgin? How do you convince anyone you’re still a virgin? Some of you know the pain of carrying a child when there’s no wedding ring and no husband in the picture. But back then, there was a very real chance you would be killed if you showed up pregnant, but unmarried. Why bring Jesus into the world that way, with such a stain on His reputation before He draws His first breath?

Can you imagine having the kind of power we see in creation, but choosing a stable for a birth-place, a feed-trough for a bed, diapers and potty training, learning to walk and to speak?

We forget, sometimes, that the Bible tells us Jesus was with God in the beginning. We forget sometimes that He left all that to come to us. We forget sometimes that the shadow of the cross hung over that manger (that feed trough) in Bethlehem; that He was “The lamb slain before the creation of the world.” He knew what was coming. He was involved in planning it.

And what about His training as a carpenter? Did Joseph get frustrated, because his step-son, the Son of God, didn’t automatically know how to do carpentry work? Historical sources suggest that a carpenter of that time may have also been a stone mason, so there may have been two trades to learn. The first two chapters of Genesis tell us over and over again that He said: “Let there be. . .” and it happened. Would you take the years to train for a trade, so you could spend two days making a stool, then have people complain about the price – if you could just speak and a whole world would appear?

We forget sometimes that the man in the carpenter’s shop, smelling of sweat, getting blisters and slivers—is the Creator of the Universe.

Have you ever wondered how and why God put such value on your life? Why would He send His only Son—to be born, to live, to die? Have you ever wondered why Jesus accepted the plan—why He entered into it fully?

I wouldn’t have done it that way. I don’t have the courage or the patience. Aren’t you glad God’s love is bigger than mine? – or yours?

Key Verses:

John 1: 1-5
Genesis 1 & 2
Revelation 13:8
Isaiah 55:8-9

Brian Austin is a published novelist, poet, fish enthusiast, and church librarian. He has been an active part of HMC and it's Resource Centre for more than 30 years. He and his wife live in Durham.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Preparing For Christmas Eve

What began as a simple plan, intended to be a stress-free welcoming of the Christmas season, ballooned into an exciting (and not exactly stress-free) production that called for many volunteers, a full week of building and painting, the writing and re-writing of scripts, hours dedicated to learning lines and timing, costume design, prop gathering and much more.

Nothing is more rewarding and humbling than watching the rally of people who bring to light a vision that only existed in imagination.

Building the set


Our (un)Happy Couple rehearses their part
Mike gets into his role as the narrator

And now, all that remains is to fill the seats.  Please join us tonight as we present to you what we hope is a charming Christmas Eve Service that lightens your heart and draws you closer to the true meaning of Christmas.