“Big Burly Fisherman has a Belly Laugh Fest”!!!!!

19 12 2014

Christmas is a time of joy. We see the twinkle in the eyes of little children and their exuberance, as they sense a happiness and contentment. It is really a time of ‘celebration of life’ from the birth of a newborn baby in Bethlehem to the newborns in our lives.

But we also notice that this joy is contagious! Here come three wise men – intellectuals, pundits, gurus! They have come to worship the newborn King of the Jews! The Star of Bethlehem leads them to the home where Joseph and Mary and Jesus are living. Then as they meet the little toddler, they see the future King and they fall down in worship, as it says in Matthew 2: 9-11, the whole experience has the effect where they – rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” (The Message translation -“they could hardly contain themselves …”)

Then many years later we find a big burly fisherman, who has been effected by this same baby when he was a grown up thirty year old. He has then followed him through three years of life with Jesus 365/24/7, and he knows this is the real thing! His whole life has been radicalized as he sees the life, the death and the resurrection of the King of the Jews!

He is now reminiscing on this amazing life and an overwhelming joy permeates his whole being and he starts to laugh and tears of joy run down the cheeks of this burly one time fisherman, now turned “fisher of men”! And so he says,

 What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.

 I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold that God will have on display as evidence of his victory.

You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation. (1 Peter 1:3-9 – The Message)


Remembering Christmas with Ruth a Foreigner!

3 12 2014

          We were young people when we were attending Bethany Christian Life Centre (then known as Bethany Church) in Nugegoda, Sri Lanka.  Pastor Arthur (A.O) Speldwine was preaching a series of messages from the Book of Matthew. He was preaching a message based on each person who was in the genealogy of Chapter 1. What a fascinating series of messages.

Recently I was looking at this chapter again, as it reveals God Story in a nutshell. Sometimes genealogies get to be long and boring, but I saw how important each individual was in God’s Story!

Naomi and her husband, Elimelech had left their home in Bethlehem because there was a famine in the country, and had gone to Moab. But as they are there only for a short period of time, Elimelech dies, leaving Naomi with the responsibility of raising her two sons Mahlon and Kilion in a foreign country, as a single mother.

She raised them to be adults, and they married two women from the country they were living in. But both of them died too! Naomi and her two daughters-in-laws are left widows. Naomi decides to return to her home in Bethlehem and Ruth joins her on the trip, leaving her home, family and country.

What a fascinating story now unfolds in chapters two through four in the Book of Ruth. God blesses Naomi and Ruth in many ways and we find that they are not left destitute and homeless, but Ruth is married to a rich landowner, Boaz, who is also a relative of Naomi’s!

The story goes on to say that Boaz and Ruth are blessed with a little baby boy, Obed, who is the father of Jesse, who is the father of David, who is going to be one of the greatest kings in the history of Israel. But the story does not end there …

As we read the story in Matthew chapter one, we see how David is the ancestor of Jesus and is the Promised Messiah.

So we see, how God planned the Christmas story from the beginning of time, and had a place for a young widow named Ruth, a foreigner from a hated race of people, to be part of the heritage of the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ.

God uses humble people! However poor and lowly we may see ourselves to fulfill God’s tasks, to bring the message of the gospel to the world that is in desperate need of the Good News of Jesus Christ!

Will you and I be the ones, this Christmas season, to bring God’s Good News to ONE other person?

To Read Ruth’s Story as seen through the eyes of Tessa Afshar check here: