Exchanged Life Spirituality

SylviaThe celebration of Christmas can feel formulaic, especially in the United States.


Stores start advertising Christmas in October. Radio stations play Christmas music in November. People start pulling out the decorations and recipes they cook every Christmas. It is easy to simply fall into the formula of Christmas.

But a quick look at the story of the birth of Jesus will reveal there is nothing formulaic about God. From the virgin birth to the shepherds and the wise men God shows up in the most unexpected places and unusual ways.

Even the place of Jesus' birth is unconventional and unexpected. Micah 5:2 says that Bethlehem is too little to be among the clans of Judah, yet God chose the least significant to bring forth the Messiah, our Savior and Lord. Wouldn't Jerusalem be a much more fitting place for the birth of the King? It is only 5 miles away. But God is the God of the unexpected.

In our Christmas carols we sing of Bethlehem as being the place where the Everlasting Light shines and all our hopes and fears of all the years are met.

We all carry hopes and fears in our heart. Take a moment to really sense what is in your heart. Often times we ignore our own heart because hopes seem to be out of reach and fears are to painful. What are your hopes and dreams? What do you dread? Are there things that you fear are too big or difficult to even hope for? 

Max Lucado says, "Hope is not what you'd expect; it is what you would never dream. It is a wild, improbable tale with a pinch-me-I'm-dreaming ending... Hope is not a granted wish or a favor performed; no, it is far greater than that. It is a zany, unpredictable dependence on a God who loves to surprise us out of our socks and be there in the flesh to see our reaction." (God Came Near, page 89)

May you be blessed this Christmas season to give all your hopes and fears to the God who is for you and who is capable of doing more than you can ask or imagine in the most unexpected ways. 

This season may our heart's cry be that of the last words of "O Little Town of Bethlehem,"
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel.

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Favorites

  • The Cleansing of the Temple by RC Sproul +

    http://www.ligonier.org/account/dashboard/sermon/151/download/ In this incident of Jesus cleansing the temple, Dr. Sproul points out that the activities being performed were legitimate, Read More
  • The Prodigals by Kevin DeYoung +

    During the Gospel Coalition conference in 2013, Kevin DeYoung gave a thoughtful, spirit-led sermon on Luke 15. He was able Read More
  • Centered on one or the other by Ray Ortlund +

    ". . . a friend of tax collectors and sinners!" Luke 7:34 What does it mean for a church to be gospel-centered? That's Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Book of God, Walter Wangerin +

    I was in a leadership turbogroup during the spring of 2007. At Randy's suggestion, I listened to Walter Wangerin's audio Read More
  • Martin Luther’s Quiet Time, Walter Trobisch +

    Martin Luther had a barber named Peter Beskendorf who asked his world-famous customer and doctor of theology, "Dr. Luther, how Read More
  • Clay Enoch Devotional Sculpture +

    Clay Enoch, a sculptor in Colorado Springs, Colorado, creates powerful bronze sculptures with Biblical themes: Creation, Praise, Contrition, Still Water, Read More
  • Without Faith...Can I Survive? +

    Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ Read More
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