My eyes grew misty at the sight of this Nativity scene on display in a Christian bookstore about a decade ago. The figurines were old friends. They looked just like the ones that were part of my childhood Christmases. It was always exciting when the boxes of ornaments were paraded down from the attic, but the special Baby and the story of that first Christmas was wondrous to me. I spent hours arranging and rearranging the characters, not realizing that the One in the manger represented the Love of my life.
Ecclesiastes 3:11, tells us that God "has planted eternity in the human heart." As I prepared to speak at an outreach event this year, I recalled a surprising and somewhat embarrassing evidence of this Scripture…
I was eleven. My two girlfriends were a year older. Somehow I convinced Janet and Christine that we should present a Christmas Concert for our parents and friends—in August! The side patio of our home became the stage. Chairs were set out on the lawn and lemonade served. Admission was free of course.
My mother's home movies captured some of the highlights. The three performers were dressed identically, in red t-shirts and white skorts—that's not a typo! The youngest of my five siblings was still a new baby, but Mom wouldn't allow us to enlist Andy as ‘the Holy Child'. The irony is that our only volunteer was the nemesis of the neighbourhood. Do you remember Eddie Haskell in the TV show, Leave It To Beaver? He was always getting into trouble. Picture him, sitting with a brass bowl on his head for a crown, trying his best to look innocent—holy would really be a stretch—as We Three Kings solemnly processed to the carol, carrying other brass items from our living room as gold, frankincense and myrrh.
What possessed me? You may well ask…
St. Augustine said it best—"You have made us for Yourself and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in You."
The Lord was tugging at the empty place in my heart that was longing for Him—designed to honour Him in every season of my life! Our life-changing encounter was about twelve years away, but there are many other evidences throughout that time of His love reaching out to bring me into "real and eternal life, more and better life than (I) ever dreamed of." (John 10:10)
His Love Reaching
Words by William J. and Gloria Gaither
His love went on longing
And His love went on reaching;
Right past the shackles of my mind
And the Word of the Father
Became Mary's little Son;
And His love reached all the way
To where I was.
This unconditional, eternal love is reaching out to you today. Because of Jesus, we can enjoy intimacy with our Heavenly Father. The indwelling Holy Spirit guides and empowers us to fulfill His unique plan and purpose for our lives, when we receive Christ. Knowing Jesus and making Him known, is my reason for every day, my greatest joy-- and it represents the highest calling of Crossroads' Ministry.
Thank you for helping us to reach people in countless ways—right where they are.
"We love Him because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19