Posted tagged ‘Baby Jesus’

Things to Do while You Wait

December 11, 2017

by Dr. Steven J. Callis

WAIT! …So, how did you do?  Generally speaking, our society performs poorly when it comes to waiting.  During the summers of my college days, most of the correspondence with my girlfriend (the lady I eventually married!) was by written letter; addressed, stamped, and mailed via USPS.  By the time it reached her two or three days later, any news it contained was past news!

The amazing development of electronic mail made it possible to for people communicate more quickly.  Then along came cell phones and text messaging, and e-mail became the new snail mail!  If we do not receive a response to our text within a couple of minutes, we become antsy.  We do not like to wait!

Nevertheless, we are forced do it several times everyday.  Shopping lines, traffic lights, health facilities, restaurants, medical test results, television commercials that interrupt our favorite shows…as much time as we spend waiting, one would think we might be better at it than we are.

In fact, it has been estimated that the average person spends seven years of life waiting!  Can you imagine that?  So, what do you do while you wait?

Many people go to their trusty, handy cell phone.  In a doctor’s office waiting room this morning I noticed that more than one half of those waiting for their name to be called were using their electronic devices.  Were they playing games, sending messages, or maybe searching the internet?

I often take something with me to read, but today I decided to leaf through a magazine that was provided by the doctor’s office.  I have never really looked closely at a People’s Magazine, so this was an opportunity to do so.  After several pages I realized that I was already familiar with most of the information I was seeing.  I glanced back at the cover and saw the date:  December 4, 2007!

And most of us have waited patiently (or not!) at a green traffic light for the person in front of us to look up and see that the red light had changed. It causes me to wonder if the field of chiropractic will become much more lucrative and in demand in the near future because of how much time we spend looking down or hunched over peering into that small handheld screen.

The Christmas season – Advent – is a time of anticipation, of expectant waiting for the coming of Christ.  It is a time to prepare for the spiritual side of the vastly celebrated holiday.  It is a time that we seek to draw closer to Jesus and invite Him to draw nearer to us.

At the birth of Jesus that first Christmas, the religious world had been waiting for 800 years from the time it was prophesied that Messiah would come.  We can understand, then, why Magi would travel nearly 1,000 miles to worship the newborn King, shepherds would leave their posts, and angels would joyfully declare, “Glory to God in the highest…peace to all people.”  The waiting was over.

God still comes to His creation.  No, not as a baby; but He chooses to be involved in the lives of humankind.  Those who seek Him find that He comes every day to make Himself known, to extend His mercy and grace, and to express His love.

This is Advent.  What will you do while you wait?  Certainly you will do some shopping and gift wrapping and eating – but will you take time to truly seek the God of our salvation?  Will you endeavor to make room for Him in the busyness of the season?  Will you notice it when He comes to you?

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Not Just Any Tree will Do

December 14, 2015

Not Just Any Tree Will Do – by Dr. Steven J. Callis

Selecting the right tree for Christmas is as important as selecting the right turkey for Thanksgiving, and I am ‘thankful’ that we do not settle for artificial turkeys that reappear annually! That reminds me, I guess it is time to take our tree down from the attic and get it decorated.

My dad loved Christmas – and trees. As a child we rarely had a “live” tree. I remember one year in particular when my dad decided to think outside the box, so to speak. That year he sprayed fake snow over the entire tree, completely covering it, and then added various sized hot pink ornament balls. The finishing touch was our old color wheel. It was different, indeed!

For our very first Christmas my wife and I drove out to Uncle Campbell and Aunt Maxie’s place to look for a tree on their property. We lived in a small apartment and finding the right tree was a challenge. The one we chose was beautiful – in front. The back of the tree was no longer among the living. However, strategically placed in a corner of our living room, one would hardly notice the flaw.

While there are stories that the Christmas tree has pagan roots (pardon the pun), the tradition of decorating trees at Christmas has always been a distinctly Christian tradition. The modern Christmas tree evolved from two Christian traditions in Germany in the sixteenth century. One was a “paradise tree” which was adorned with apples as a reminder of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden. The other was a triangular shelf holding nativity figurines and decorated with a star representing the star of Bethlehem. Eventually, these two symbols merged into the present Christmas tree tradition.

Of course, Thanksgiving is not all about the turkey, and Christmas is not all about the tree. We know that JESUS is the reason for the season. My family begins Christmas morning sitting in front of the tree, beautifully wrapped presents beneath it, and we read the Bible Christmas story and pray for our family, friends, church, community, and world.

In a way, our Christmas tree serves as a kind of altar where we lay our gifts before the Christchild and marvel in His Presence. The tree stands as a reminder of the One who is Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace.

A Hillbilly Christmas Story

December 13, 2013

A Hillbilly Christmas Story – Steven Callis

Back yonder when Caesar Augustus decided it was high time to figer out how many folks was a livin’ in the vicinity of the Roman world, all the clans and their kin went to his home town to git counted.

So Joe Bob, known as Joseph in them days, wandered up from Nazareth, where him and his kin was a livin’, to Judea, at a place called Bethlehem.  Cause his roots go all the way back to David’s house, and all his kin was of David, that’s where him and Mary Jo went to git counted.  Mary Jo was pert near ready to have their first young ‘un.

Wouldn’t ya know it, that they was stuck in Bethlehem when the baby decided it was time fer him to be borned. Turns out all the hotels was full, and they was havin’ to sleep in the ol’ barn out back. Well, she birthed that boy, her first young ‘un, wrapped ‘im up real good and put ‘im right there in the feedin’ trough.

Well, there was some sheep farmers workin’ out in the fields one night when a angel of the Lord just showed up out a nowhere, and them farmers was skeerd!  Then that angel spoke up an’ said, “Ya’ll don’t need to be skeerd a start.  I’m a gonna tell ya somethin’ that’ll make you-ins and everbody else happy as a lark.  Today a Savior was born, and He is Christ the Lord.  Go take a look fer yourself.  He’ll be all wrapped up and layin’ in a feedin’ trough.

Then, all a sudden, a whole bunch a angels showed up and started singin’: Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and good will to men.”  Then all them farmers high tailed it to town where they seen it fer themselves: Mary Jo, Joe Bob, and their young ‘un which they called Jesus.  Soon as they seen it and exchanged a few pleasantries, they run out and told everbody they seen, you know, about all this that they’d been privy to.  An’ ever last one who heered the story was down right tickled about it, and give praise to God.  But Mary Jo, now she just took to ponderin’ all them things in her heart.