Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Light of God dressed in a blanket

What do you get when you cross curtains and blankets with Christmas?  You get shepherd costumes.  I am wearing one of the costumes on loan to Ashland First Baptist Church from Box R Ranch.  I am also wearing my mother's long underwear, wool socks, turtle neck shirt and wool sweater.  I was very warm and plump.  My friends, Carol and Trisha,and I had a great time parading around as shepherds at the first Live Nativity.  I think half of the church congregation helped in one form or another to express the wonderful mystery of God we celebrate at Christmas.  The creator of the universe enters the world, that had rebelled against him, as a helpless baby in order to suffer a cruel death so he could offer a cure for any one wanting it.  Amazing!

We had it all, angels, a star, farm animals, Mary, Joseph, inn keepers, and a manger.  Let's not forget the shepherds.  We also had hundreds of luminaries, cookies, hot cocoa and a campfire, which also got canceled due to the fact that we have so many firefighters attending 1st Baptist and we didn't get a permit for such a thing.  Fortunately, firefighters know how to get permits for campfires and therefore we ended up having one well contained campfire.

Were we successful?  Lisa Caplinger's goal was to involve her church family in loving her home town of Ashland with the love of Christ, who is the reason for Christmas.  If meeting her goal defines success, then I would have to say we hit the bull's eye. Now multiply this effort and consider all the ways this body of Christians demonstrated the love of God this Christmas and one would stand amazed to realize that Christ is still alive and well and living in Ashland, Oregon in the 21 century.

I am so glad God doesn't hold us responsible for making people choose the light. There are still many, many folks living in our midst who don't even know they possess a terminable condition requiring the Christ who came at Christmas.  Jesus only tells us to be a light, letting Him shine through us into the darkness.  May the light of Christ shine in Ashland and Talent and the whole Rogue Valley until the cure be made known.  This can be done all year long with, or without, a shepherd's robe.

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