Suddenly, the night became glorious. An angel appeared, proclaiming the joyous news of our Savior’s birth. It must have seemed puzzling to the shepherds when the angel said that they would find the Lord in a manger (a manger? the feeding trough for livestock?!). In haste, the shepherds went to Bethlehem to see. Finding everything just as the angel had described, they glorified and praised God. Magi later came with gifts for the newborn King. During the ritual Presentation of the Lord in the temple, a holy man named Simeon recognized Jesus asRead More
Author Archives: Heart of the Nation
Scripture doesn’t tell us how Joseph came to know about Mary’s expected child. The news came as a shock, but an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream to reassure him. In faith, he then took Mary into their marital home and raised Jesus as his son. An angel also appeared to Zechariah, who doubted the message that his wife, Elizabeth, would bear a son to be named John. Zechariah lost the ability to speak until the day he gave his son the name declared by the angel. When unexpected news comes our way, how much convincing do we need tRead More
When a determined group of men lowered a paralyzed man through the roof to bring him close to the Lord, Jesus rewarded their faith by healing the man spiritually and physically. The Virgin Mary responded in faith to the angel Gabriel’s message that she would give birth to the Son of God. Time went on, and John the Baptist lived and died in a way that prepared people to believe in the Lord as Jesus took every step on His way of bringing salvation to sinners. When we wonder what more God has in mind for us, do we open ourselves to His plan, noRead More
When a centurion described the suffering of a paralyzed servant, Jesus agreed to come and cure him. The centurion, admittedly unworthy to have the Lord under his roof, believed that Jesus just had to say the word. The Lord did not come to solve all the world’s problems, leaving plenty of room for His followers to follow up. Anyone who heard but failed to act on His words might as well build a house on sand instead of stone. Jesus came to provide the foundation for what He wants us to do. When we become paralyzed by doubt, fear, or ambivalenceRead More
Two small coins placed by a widow into the temple treasury hardly seemed worth a glance, but the Lord noticed! When Jesus said that a majestic temple would one day become a pile of rubble, people wanted to know what signs would warn them to take notice of the coming destruction. They had no idea that He meant the temple of His body. Besides, the timing didn’t matter. Our loving Savior taught His followers not to let everyday anxieties wear them down. When little things we could do hardly seem worth the effort, have we become too drowsy to notRead More
In a church one morning, a preschooler left the pew to sit right in front of the pulpit, seeming to hang on every word of the Gospel in the way of people captivated by Jesus’ preaching. Back in Jesus’ time on Earth, a blind man’s shouting to get His attention or the sight of Zacchaeus climbing a tree to see Him may have seemed childish to bystanders, and yet the Lord responded to both. In a parable of servants given gold coins to use in the master’s absence, one servant hid the coin in fear of losing it. When we see ways to get closer tRead More
Children on a road trip often ask repeatedly, “Are we there yet?” In Jesus’ day, adults wanted to know when they would get to see the Kingdom of God. When some Pharisees asked, Jesus taught that we already live in God’s Kingdom with the people among us here. Do we pray persistently, forgive readily, return to give thanks when we realize that the Lord has answered our prayers of supplication, and look forward with hope because Jesus will come in His glorious Light on a day that starts out as quite ordinary?