Welcome to the Greene Street Letters. It has become my venue for sharing what is going on at Vineyard Recovery Church. Don't let the word Church scare you. The Greene Street Letters is a daily posting to simply say that there is more to life than what you see. More to life than "stuff". My simple take of 60+ years of following Jesus. Some days were good days...some days I managed to get off in the ditch. He is worthy of the pursuit, so that is what I do........I pursue Jesus in everything I do. Not the Jesus of the church. Not the Jesus of the denomination. Nothing wrong with those things, but Jesus is so much more. Thanks for dropping by and I hope you return from time to time to stop and ponder your own relationship with Jesus. God on you....mb

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wise Men And Shepherds


Matthew 2:2
"Where is the newborn king of the Jews?"

Wise men show up in Jerusalem....
There were more than three of them....
Had to have been this way, because the Scripture says that King Herod was "deeply disturbed" when he heard their question, as was everyone in Jerusalem.

Three visitor's might not have stirred up much of a stink...
But a caravan of many wise men might have.


The Magi have arrived. Isn't that a great name....Magi? A name associated with Eastern Astrologers and mystics. Watching the heavens, they come upon a star unlike any other. I don't know if it was the brightness of the star that drew their attention, or the position of the star when it was first noticed, but something spoke to them about the star. Or could it have been that someone spoke to them about the importance of this particular star? Which ever the case, it was enough for them to pack up, leave home, and go on a journey. Some estimates say that they traveled as much as two years. Here again, I love looking at the night sky, but to chuck everything for a two-year excursion? I don't know if I'd threw my hat in the ring on that one.


What we do know is that the wise men did not show up on the night of Jesus' birth. They did not meet up with the shepherds in Luke 2 to go  see this new born babe. They came later after Jesus' birth. Matthew 2:10-11 says, "When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! they entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary....."
Shepherds went to a stable....
Wise men went to a house....
Both driven by an inward desire to see this child....
He was more than a child...
He was more than that newborn babe we portray each year in our Christmas celebrations...
He was GOD IN FLESH.
God had come down to us, to save us....He fulfilled every prophecy concerning this coming child. The earth had been waiting in anticipation ever since Genesis 3:15.


To Shepherds, God declared His coming through a host....a bunch.....a crowd....a multitude of angels....
Do you understand this? The most important event in human history was declared from the heavens to a group of men who were the least of the least. They were the ones chosen by God to declare the salvation of all mankind from the power, presence and penalty of sin. The news wasn't proclaimed to those at the Temple. It wasn't shouted in the halls of the palace. It didn't fall upon the ears of those who drove the commerce of the city. It came to a bunch of men, whose name we will never know, tending sheep outside the city.

But in the East, God revealed this truth to a group of men who studied the heavens for signs. Who knows, maybe these wise men were knowledgeable of the prophecy found in Numbers 24:17 spoken by a man named Balaam. He was hired by the king of Moab to come and speak a curse over the flood of people that Moses had lead out of Egypt. Instead of a curse, God spoke a prophecy through this man.

"I see Him, but not here and now. I perceive Him, but far in the distant future. A STAR will rise from Jacob.....A scepter will emerge from Israel....."

Two distinct ways of God revealing to us that THE Messiah was coming and was here.
Every day we get up should be a day of grasping this truth concerning this babe.
That our struggles have been paid for...
Our sin has been forgiven....
We no longer have to dwell in a land (or state) of darkness.
This Babe....
This tiny, little babe was the fullness of God come to us.
I think back to the words of the song "Mary Did You Know"....and the line that says, "Marry did you know when you kissed His face, you've kissed the face of God."

I know that today's posting probably wasn't anything new....
But sometimes we need to take another look at what the Scripture says, and ask ourselves, "How can I apply this story of the birth of Christ into my own life?"


Well, for starters....
Don't become apathetic in your daily life...
Watch for God every moment of every day...
He is a communicating God, and he will speak to us, but we have to be ready to hear.

The Shepherds left their flocks...
The wise men left their country...
Why?
To go and worship a new born King.
What are you prepared to leave?
Life, real life is all about worshiping the very one who has saved us.
Not because He demands it...
But because He is worth it.


Merry Christmas from the "B's" in Attalla.

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