Privileged

Published on Dec 17th, 2014 by Pastor Ed Hlad | 0
Privileged

Privileged

For the past twenty years I have had the privilege of being involved in a ministry at our church during the month of December called the Living Nativity.  This ministry consumed my mind and took much of my time for the first three weeks of December each year.  God has given me the joy of working side by side with hundreds of people and the joy of seeing thousands come through the Nativity.  My heart has been overwhelmed by the provision of God each year.  He has provided double decker trolleys, donkeys, sheep, hay wagons, camels, and people each year who seem to say the right thing and be in the right place.  At times, there have been disappointments in people, some whining on my part, and times of worry but when the final piece is put away each year all of those were forgotten and the joy of knowing that God was glorified and the gospel was preached would fill my heart.  I cannot share enough how much this ministry has been used in my heart and in the hearts of my family.

I would like to share with you one truth that God has driven home to me through being involved in the Nativity.  I pray that as I share this personal lesson that you will see God and that this will not come across as self promotion.  Each year, when the last piece of the Nativity was put away, I would come and sit at my desk to resume life as usual and I would take a minute or two to reflect.  I would be exhausted from the physical work, the mental strain, and the emotional toll of the last three weeks.  It would be at that point that I could then focus on Christmas Eve worship and Christmas with my family.  Each year, in those moments of quietness, God would bring to my mind the great gift that Jesus gave by coming to earth and giving his life for our redemption.  I would be reminded that if we were going to celebrate Christmas…then we should celebrate with great acts of giving.  If Christmas is truly about the greatest act of giving ever known to man then it should be celebrated in kind.  We should celebrate with great acts of giving of the truths of the gospel with those who need to hear. The great act of giving of Jesus cost him everything.  The act of giving in the Nativity cost me three weeks, some tired legs, and some emotional drain…not nearly what Christ gave but enough to bring a smile to my face that I was celebrating, was teaching my family to celebrate, and was working alongside a church that believed in celebrating Christmas as it should be celebrated.

This was our final year of doing the Living Nativity.  What will we do next year to celebrate Christmas as it should be celebrated?  What will be our act of giving of the gospel that reflects how much we recognize the great act of giving of Jesus?  Those plans are still in their infant stages but we have been convicted that it is time to once again “go” and share.  To borrow from a familiar song…we have shared on the mountain (our little hill top) and now it is time to go over the hills and everywhere to share that Jesus Christ is born.  Rather than asking people to come to us so that we can give them the great truths of the gospel….we are going to go to them with this great gift.  I am praying that by the end of that ministry, when I put my feet up on my desk, that I will be tired and drained and smiling!

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