Inspiration for New Years Week, 2015

Pastor Gary

Senior Moderator and Staff Trainer
Staff member
Senior Moderator
Staff Trainer
Good Day, Friends; From the volunteers and myself at the Woodland Chapel, please accept our wishes for a very Happy New Year. May the new year bring good health, family love, togetherness, happiness, friendships, safety and security to us all and may 2015 be a time of renewed studying of God's Word, so we may better understand God's plan for us in these times of international tensions. May God bless you.
It is now three thirty in the morning. I wish that I could sleep, but a picture is haunting me. It is my picture of Jesus.
Part of me wish that He could remain the same, as my picture on the wall. A picture painted and wrapped with religious Christmas paper. It feels safe and familiar. It is a Holy picture of Holy God. Someone that we respect, honor and fear.
What did Jesus do and say? He, who was not just a man, but also God. He took the religious picture and broke it in two!
Little children ran up to Him and He took them in His arms, while He was busy talking to people. Then He had the nerve to tell us that, "we all have to become like children, to enter His Kingdom." He was a dinner guest of sinners and the outcast. He insisted on washing His disciples dirty feet. In rage, He threw down tables in the synagogue, as He saw greed in His father's house. A woman, probably a prostitute, washed His feet with her tears, kissed them and wiped them with her hair. He stood up to defend another woman, that the religious wanted to stone because of adultery. He looked at Peter, as Peter denied knowing Him, and still He loved him. He called the religious for "whitewashed tombs," as He saw through their hypocrisy. He told the thief on the cross,"Today you will be with me in paradise."
The list goes on and on. He did so much more that was not even recorded,or as John said it:

"Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." John 21:25

The stories are not new to me, I've heard them over and over. Still, somehow the picture of religion that Jesus tore in two, I managed to tape it back together, and hang it on my wall. It feels safe. It lets me keep my distance, as I worship Him from afar.
Come on! Jesus did not come down to earth to tell us: "Worship me and love me with all your heart, but that is close enough, stay over there." If He walked our streets today, would He be allowed in our homes and churches, or would He receive a slap on His wrist? I believe that He would be welcome in many churches, but probably not all. One thing is for sure, He would definitely stick out of the crowd!
One thing I am pondering, Jesus was a man, but now He resides in Heaven. Now He is God alone, and much more than man. Now His Spirit lives in those that have received Him in their hearts. Can we love Him too much? I doubt that is possible. Don't keep him in the picture on the wall. Embrace Him, just as the people did in those dusty towns. Love Him! Rejoice! He gave you life, give Him thanks, and if you have received Him in your heart, there can be no end to the joy that fills your soul.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14