Monday, December 7, 2015

The Full Picture

Pictures and videos can take up a lot of space on our devices.  Yet everything from selfies of our visits to favorite spots or Christmas family photos are part of our story.  They give us glimpses of our lives in moments.  And all we have to do to get a fuller picture of our life is to look at the pictures along the way.  One scene tells only a part of the story.  The whole album makes life more clear.

Memory books serve as a reminder
That is what I find when I read through the first chapters of Matthew and Luke.  There are the genealogies of Jesus.  Those pictures are filled with fabled stories, some good, some not so good.  They are also filled with names with no detail.  Unknowns.  There are the pictures of Gabriel meeting with Zechariah, Mary and Joseph.  On the videos of those events you hear encouragements, detailed plans and reminders of promises.  And the birth videos for John and Jesus are joyful parties.  Celebrations are a vital part of life for us.

Perhaps the most helpful parts for me are the music videos.  Ok, on paper we only have the lyrics but my sanctified imagination can hear and see the video.  It is filled with images of God's actions throughout history along with the lyrics.  And what is the main thrust of the songs?  You can read them in Luke 1 (In fact I suggest you stop and do that now.)  Here are some themes:

1.  God is mindful of the frailness of His creation and does great things on our behalf.
2.  God has demonstrated mercy to those who fear Him throughout generations.
3.  God is just in how He handles everyone.
4.  God always fulfills His promises.
5.  God is in the business of redeeming us and enabling us to serve Him.
6.  God will forgive our sins and lead us in the path of peace.

Faithfulness.  Deliverance.  A Mighty God.  Merciful.  Able.  Mindful of us.  Just.  That is the complete picture of our God's family album.

The good news for us today is that we have an opportunity.  If you took a selfie right now, today, what would that snap shot look like?  If you say it is great, then join with Mary and Zechariah and produce a praise video (it can be a prayer of thanksgiving if you don't want to make the video) that worships the Lord for His faithfulness to you and how you see His hand bringing about great blessings to you.  If your situation is a little more troubled right now, take some time to look back through the family album.  Remind yourself that while there have been some difficult times, God has always been faithful, delivering, mighty, providing, able, close to the heart of the troubled, and merciful.  You can trust Him.  And once reminded, praise Him for how He will deliver you in the midst of what you are facing right now.

A Christmas gift for your family may be to put together an album or pull one out and tell the story of God's faithfulness to you as a family.  How do you think it would affect your unsaved relatives if you did a little project like that?

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