Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Throwback

We drove to Springfield, Missouri and back to Minneapolis for Thanksgiving. It involved almost 24 hours driving and required a certain amount of caffeine. My usual “drug” of choice is green tea but that would have triggered too many stops. After peering into the cooler at the gas station for a moment, I decided on a Pepsi Throwback.
In case you’re unfamiliar, the Throwback line is marketed with the Pepsi and Mountain Dew brands. It started as a “limited time only” theme but is now widely available because the retro style packaging and “made with REAL sugar” idea went over well. Despite what corn farmers are saying, there are still people out there who believe there is some advantage to pure cane sugar instead of the high fructose corn syrup that soft drink companies used to replace sugar in the 1980s.
So anyhow...I was sitting in the car listening to Christmas music with the kids and staring at my Pepsi bottle. It got me thinking. Well, yes, I do tend to be a thinker but I also had a blog to write and had been prayerfully pondering what kinds of things I might write about this Christmas season. So it may be no surprise that fireworks of questions and ideas started floating around in my brain:
  • What would it look like if I re-packaged the Christmas season at my house (to better reflect the original sentiments and circumstances around Jesus’ birth)?
  • What could I do in my personal Bible reading and reflections this season to help me capture the anticipation and excitement of the original Christmas?
  • What would it take to convince the skeptics that there truly is something of great value about Jesus — that no substitution can be made?
  • What, if anything, is useful about the latest packaging of Christmas?

For starters, I decided that I’m going to do some review of Bible prophecies related to Christmas. I’ve listed below just a few of the most well known but I’m going to spend this week exploring more (and I hope you will too). After all, these were the original things God was saying about the Messiah. God’s original, first-hand introductions have valuable things to say to us today just as they did to those who first heard them.
Lord, give me ears to hear You as I look back at the ways you introduced Your Son to my ancestors and as I remember the first ways I heard about you myself. Stir up in me a spirit of hunger, enthusiasm and gratitude as I prepare to receive You anew this Christmas season. Show me how to use this information to tell others that You have come for them also! AMEN
Isaiah 7:14 “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.” (Fulfilled — Matthew 1:22-23)
Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem, Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” (Fulfilled — Matthew 2:1)
Jeremiah 31:15 This is what the Lord says: 'A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more.' (Fulfilled — Matthew 2:16-18)

Hosea 11:1: When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.  (Fulfilled — Matthew 2:14-15)
I welcome and value your “Christmas Throwback” questions, ideas and insights so please feel free to chime in! This could be both fun and meaningful.

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