I remember reading about a man in New England in 1938 who went into a store and bought a new barometer, which he took home and proudly placed in his study window. When it was hung he consulted it anxiously to see what the weather would be like that day. Lo and behold the barometer said "hurricane." Here he was in New England and the idea of a hurricane seemed absurd to him. So he grabbed that barometer in a huff and rushed back down to the store to return it. The store clerk asked, "What's the matter?" He said, "Here I've traveled all this way to this store to buy this barometer and it's reading hurricane."
The store owner said, "Oh, I'll happily refund your money."
He got his money back and started the long journey home. By the time he got home, his house had blown away because of the hurricane that hit New England in 1938.
Just like this man who was looking for a sign, people are always looking for signs concerning Christ's return. We do not know when our time will come, but we do live in anticipation that God will fulfill God's promises of giving us eternal salvation.
Dean Lynn Harold Hough of Drew Divinity School was riding on a train some years back, reading Greek tragedies. He came across the story of a god who fell in love with a maiden, and came to visit her. But the god found that she had been in an accident, and was lying beside the road in a pool of blood. The god was repulsed at the sight of blood, and immediately winged his way back to Mt. Olympus, where he could contemplate the human situation.
A god afraid of human suffering. Dean Hough said that he looked out of the train window, watching the telephone poles pass by in the form of crosses...and could not help but contrast the two: the pagan and the Christian faith. Then he remembered the words of a familiar hymn: "There is a green hill far away, Beyond the city wall; Where the dear Lord was crucified, Who died to save us all." Our God is not afraid of human suffering. He's been there. He's not afraid of blood. He's shed some Himself. In Marc Connelly's play GREEN PASTURES the Lord says: "Even bein' God ain't a bed of roses!"
Christmas is a great season of joy and celebration. Yet, Christ comes to bring us hope as we face the challenges of this world.
Have you ever gone outside at night and just looked up at the stars? They're beautiful, aren't they? Did you know that we can see about 2,000 stars with just our eyes? If we had a telescope, which is a thing we can look through to see stuff that's really far away, we could probably see about 6,000 stars.
Astronomers, the people who study stars, say that there are thousands of millions of stars in our universe. All the stars in the sky look shiny and white to us, but if we could see them close up, we would see that stars are different colors. A star's color depends on how hot it is. The hottest stars are a really light bluish-white color, like this one. The cooler stars are a reddish-orange color, like this one. There is a very important reason why we're talking about stars today.
in our Bible passage today, we learn about the wise men. There was a bunch of wise men, and they studied the stars. One day, they saw a certain very special star, and they decided to follow it. This special star marked the place where Jesus was born. When the wise men saw baby Jesus, they knew He was the Son of God. They bowed down to Him and worshiped Him, then they gave Him very expensive gifts. The wise men were the very first people to ever worship Jesus.
If it hadn't been for the very special star, the wise men never would have found Jesus. They needed this special star to guide them to the place where Jesus was born. But we don't need a star to guide us to Jesus, do we? The Bible says that when we ask Jesus to be our Savior, Jesus' spirit comes into our hearts. We don't have to go looking for Him. He is always with us. Let's pray today that Jesus' spirit will come into our hearts.