According to the Weather Channel, Hurricane Ian was headed straight for Tampa Bay, but then turned more eastward and moved through Florida to the south Clearwater and the surrounding area. Why? Why not here instead of there? Why were we spared and others weren’t? Does the Bible have anything to say about such catastrophes? The answer is a resounding, Yes!
What was Jesus response to the Pharisees rejecting His compassion for a man suffering on the Sabbath Day? In this exposition of Luke 6:6-11, we see that there is no such thing as neutrality. Jesus turns the question on those opposing Him as to whether it is better to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil, but “nothing” is not an option. It is easy as Christians to think we may just take the “middle ground” position on Biblical and cultural issues, but Christ tells us that there is no such thing. Don’t be afraid to be a Christian extremist!
A famous Canadian preacher wrote: Words fail when we try to articulate in theology and worship our deepest feelings about the awesome, transcendent majesty of Almighty God. Is it possible that a God like that could have been in Bethlehem’s manger? In stark reality, are we to believe that God was there in that ancient place in some special and unique way? Shockingly, Jesus came into His own world in complete obscurity, in fact, with such obscurity that we are compelled to ask: Where does God fit in, and does it really make sense to fit such an obscure figure into our own lives?
The celebration of the first noel and the anticipation of the last noel are closely connected. Both events teach the same truth — and what is that truth? God has his hand on human history and your place in it. Both the first and last noels teach us that God has not abandoned us, that God is not ignoring us, that God has a plan and a purpose and that He’s inviting us to get plugged into that plan and purpose. You may not know what tomorrow will bring, but you don’t have to be afraid. You may have no idea how things are going to turn out, but you don’t have to be afraid. You may be headed into unknown territory but you don’t have to be afraid.