Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Prodigal Christmas / Are You Ready??

I've really enjoyed a new discovery this Christmas -
choreographed, syncronized Christmas lights.
We saw this one in Omaha, and others at

I've always liked quieter , more serious, contemplative Christmas observances;
so the loud, extravagant, practically garish light and sound
lawn extravaganzas like this one in Omaha feel like a bit of a guilty pleasure-

There is an Old English word that describes this kind of display perfectly:

prod·i·gal Date: 15th century
1 : characterized by profuse or wasteful expenditure : lavish

2 : recklessly spendthrift

3 : yielding abundantly : luxuriant

It is a word most often associated with Jesus' parable of the "prodigal son" who burned through his inheritance with wild abandon, then returned to his awaiting father who forgave him, accepted him , and threw a huge party to celebrate his son's return.

Certainly the time and treasure spent creating these temporary Christmas light shows is lavish ,recklessly 'spend-y' , and yielded in abundance.

But, consider it in the Spirit in which it is given, the light show is free to all who will drive by,(and visible 3/4 mile away from the Interstate highway!) the music availiable to any who will tune their FM radio to his transmitter- what a kind, extravagant gift to all who will stop to enjoy it. A small picture of the Greatest Gift.

Malcolm Smith once taught about that parable as the" parable of the prodigal father"- who lavished his love , mercy, and acceptance upon his wayward ,foolish, wastrel son- a picture of the Love shown to us, the sinful and unworthy, through the great gift of God's Son, Jesus Christ.

Celebrate Christmas, celebrate Jesus, and the Holy 'lavish overspending' God the Prodigal Father poured out to purchase us from sin's bondage with the precious lifeblood of His Son.

Look at the crazy lights and sounds as if they were noise from the party, the prodigal son has come home, the prodigal Father has welcomed him. Those who are forgiven much, love much (and we all need much forgiveness). Recieve His great forgiveness, and celebrate with great jubilation !!

~~~Reposted from December 2006~~~
"Are you ready for Christmas?"

A common salutation in late December, so, "Are you?"

We prepare for long anticipated family gatherings with anticipation,

sometimes with anxiety, for some folks, with dread.

So much to buy, to plan, to do, to prepare. Are you ready?

As we age we recall at Christmastime lost family members

and lost relationships .

Are you ready to deal with those memories of Christmas past?

"Long past?" " Your past, Ebeneezer."

Are you Ready?

Get ready for Christmas.

Step back from the busyness and consider whose birth we celebrate.

Consider the wonder of the Creator stepping from his proper place on the throne of the Universe to enter His creation. As one author wrote, "it is a much greater step down than it would be for a man to become an ant, or an amoeba; because men and women, insects and amoebas are all created ."

The incarnation - literally "in the flesh", God becoming human-

is on the order of a Painter stepping into a two dimentional painting,

or an Author entering His books as character- setting aside , for a time,

His pen so that the two dimentional creations could know the three dimentional Creator. (Imagine that for a moment. It's a lot to wrap our little brains around.)

Similarly, Jesus Christ came so that finite beings could know the infinite God.

Not just know of Him, but know Him.

He came also to deal with the thing that separates the created from Creator - sin.

"Only an infinite God could bear the full penalty for all the sins of all the people" ***

The wise men didn't scurry about buying each other gifts, but they did bring gifts to the newborn King as an act of worship. What can we learn from the gifts of the Magi, the gold, frankinscense and myrrh?

Please click on this to read Peter marshall's commentary-

(Here is a hint : Surrender, Praise and Sacrifice)

Get ready.

Merry Christmas, Terry

Monday, December 10, 2007

Crazy Christmas Lights

We saw the glow of this Omaha, Nebraska display from West bound I-80 between the
60th and 72nd St exits and had to investigate. The music was broadcast via low power FM, You might be able to pick it up on that stretch of interstate on 103.9

It's kitschy, commercialized, over the top , off the hook, a crazy chaos of noise and light, and completely addictive.

There are more of these syncronized displays on YouTube and at
Here's a fun one, Boogie Woogie Santa.