The Secret of Bethlehem’s Stable

Street ManI saw this picture and my heart jumped.  This was the thought.  “If you see this picture with the eyes of your heart, you’ll see the secret of Bethlehem’s stable.”

It’s a secret that has the power to change anyone’s life.

Let it fill the screen of your mind.

Say, “Into thee I see”  Hear, “Into thee I see.”

The man is a metaphor.  Perhaps, as you look into his eyes, they will become His eyes.

It’s Not About Feeling Guilty

Jesus is the reason for the season, and my story today is not about guilt, but touches on a truth that I’ve been discovering for myself.  A reality that is making this Christmas season more real and satisfying than ever before.

It’s not about producing feelings of guilt, or pity.  It’s not about ridiculing the commercialism of our age, nor the removal of family traditions, as such.

It is about taking another look at God’s Story that will bring immediate, as well as, long term positive results…for others and for you.  You see…

This man represents more than a great ministry opportunity. He’s a person that Jesus reminds us at this time of year for whom he came to this world (physically and spiritually).

He is Bethlehem’s Stable.

Especially at this season of the year, we are presented with opportunities to involve ourselves, individually and as a community of faith to minister to those in greater need than ourselves.  And, that’s a good thing!  Our gifts will help, but not have the same impact as deeper and more practical “everyday” participation.

A Greater Truth

A  greater, more resounding truth is this.  Loving the poor means making room for them in “my” life. Loving those who are poor means that I stop thinking about ministry to the poor, but open myself up to being ministered to by those who are poor.  By ministering with those who are poor. Not only as part of a “team” of people (which is good in itself) but on other levels that are more personal.

Sometimes Inconvenient

One of the things that brings more impatience and irritation into our lives is being inconvenienced.”  But, allowing this kind of inconvenience has the potential of doing a much better job of cleansing from self-indulgence that anything else I know.

Self-indulgence (in the name of Godly prosperity) never brings heart level satisfaction.  Letting our hearts beat in rhythm with His heartbeat bears the fruit of the kind of peace that saturates.

Once I start making relationships with the poor that are friendships, I was only mentally agreeing with a Christian sounding effort of charity, but that’s what it actually factually was.  And then…realizing relationship means more than ministry to….but includes opening myself to ministry from these my friends…I was still operating in a half-baked belief system.

I Don’t Put Up With Them

I no longer “put up with” the less fortunate than myself, I am learning to love them as I love myself.  I’m discovering the reality of, “love thy neighbor as yourself” on a much richer level.

Okay, You Caught Me.  It’s Partially Self-Centered

I found out the the sweetest sound in all the world is the heartbeat of Jesus.  It envelopes me with peace, and joy.  And, I discovered I can hear His heartbeat best when…

I am ever deepening my relationship with the poor as I minister God’s love to them, and affectionately invite them to minister His love to me…in all sorts of interesting ways.

My hope is that we will let this season be a fresh experience.  That this season will be a time of fresh life choices that begin….as a babe in a manger, that will continue to grow into an ever-increasing purpose and stature throughout the rest of our lives.

Ever Seeking A Great Vision of God’s Purpose,

Gary