"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel."
Isaiah 7:14 (NASB)
TWW visits Emmanuel Baptist Church, Enid, OK
Today we are celebrating Christmas with our blog family. We will not post again until next Wednesday, giving ourselves one day off to enjoy the season. I also apologize for my lack of participation in the discussions. I am about three weeks behind in my emails. We are doing some major renovations to our house. This coupled with our wonderful trip to visit with Wade Burleson in Enid, Oklahoma, some family obligations, visitors for Christmas, etc., have left me in over my head. Hopefully, I will catch up by next Wednesday. Thank you for bearing with me, and special thanks to Deb for picking up some of the slack.
We were blessed to see the Christmas pageant at Emmanuel Baptist church in Enid. This is not one of those “bring in the professionals and charge money" type of pageants. Instead, it is fully directed and performed by the congregation of the church. They even take turns sharing some of the solo numbers since the pageant is performed and repeated over 4 days.
It is a much anticipated event in the Enid community, which turns out in full force, necessitating police to direct the traffic. There is no charge to attend. Folks, this is a real pageant, not some Hollywood show. I loved watching the little children playing the angels and the star. The people dressed as camels really hammed it up, making everyone laugh. It was real — kind of like a Baby born in a manger, not in a sterile hospital.
The event brought tears to my eyes as I wished that more mega-churches would see the value of a heartfelt body of believers pulling together as opposed to a PR spectacular. I met a janitor at the church the next day. She told me how much she enjoys being a part of the pageant each year. This pageant was about community, not performance, although the production was well done and the music was wonderful. Kudos to all of the performers!
Here is a shout-out to Wade. Keep doing this — it is real, beautiful, funny, and profound, tied up with a Holy Spirit bow. Merry Christmas to the family at Emmanuel! Thank you for the present of the pageant.
At the end of the Christmas pageant, I got goosebumps as Wade very dramatically spoke the following words. They are adapted from a song called "He Is". (link)
Here are the words that Wade spoke so eloquently.
“Jesus the Christ truly is the Creator, Sustainer, and the Accomplisher. He is the Word of God made flesh. And I can see so clearly how God the Father has spoken to us of Him from the very beginning. He is revealed to us, every step of the way; the reality of Jesus Christ in all of His glory.
In Genesis: Jesus is the Ram on Abraham’s altar;
In Exodus: He is the Passover Lamb;
In Leviticus: He is the High Priest;
In Numbers: He’s the Cloud by day and the Pillar of fire by night;
In Deuteronomy: He’s the City of our refuge;
In Joshua: He’s the Scarlet Thread out Rahab’s window;
In Judges: He is our Judge;
In Ruth: He is our Kinsman Redeemer;
In 1st and 2nd Samuel: He’s our Trusted Prophet;
In Kings and Chronicles: He’s our Reigning King;
In Ezra: He is our Faithful Scribe;
In Nehemiah: He’s the Rebuilder of everything that is broken;
In Esther: He is the Mordecai sitting faithful at the gate;
In Job: He’s our Redeemer who ever liveth;
In Psalms: He is my Shepherd and I shall not want;
In Proverbs and Ecclesiastes: He’s our wisdom;
In the Song of Solomon: He’s the Beautiful Bridegroom;
In Isaiah: He’s the Suffering Servant;
In Jeremiah and Lamentations: It is Jesus who is the Weeping Prophet;
In Ezekiel: He’s the Wonderful Four-Faced Man;
In Daniel: He’s the Fourth Man in the midst of a fiery furnace;
In Hosea: He is my Love who is forever faithful;
In Joel: He baptizes us with the Holy Spirit;
In Amos: He is our Burden Bearer;
In Obadiah: Our Savior;
In Jonah: He is the Great Foreign Missionary who takes the Word of God into all the world
In Micah: He is the Messenger with beautiful feet;
In Nahum: He is the Avenger;
In Habakkuk: He is the Watchman who is ever praying for revival;
In Zephaniah: He is the Lord, mighty to save;
In Haggai: He is the Restorer of our lost heritage;
In Zechariah: He is our Fountain;
In Malachi: He is the Son of Righteousness with healing in His wings;
In Matthew: He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God;
In Mark: He is the Miracle Worker;
In Luke: He is the Son of Man;
In John: He is the Door by which every one of us must enter;
In Acts: He is the Shining Light that appears to Saul on the road to Damascus;
In Romans: He is the Justifier;
In 1st Corinthians: He is our Resurrection;
In 2nd Corinthians: He is our Sin Bearer;
In Galatians: He redeems us from the law;
In Ephesians: He is our Unsearchable Riches;
In Philippians: He supplies our every need;
In Colossians: He is the Fullness of the Godhead Body;
In 1st and 2nd Thessalonians: He is our Soon Coming King;
In 1st and 2nd Timothy: He is the Mediator between God and man;
In Titus: He is our Blessed Hope;
In Philemon: He is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother;
In Hebrews: He is the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant;
In James: He is the Lord who heals the sick;
In 1st and 2nd Peter: He is the Chief Shepherd;
In 1st, 2nd and 3rd John: He has the tenderness of Love
In Jude: He is the Lord coming with 10,000 saints;
In Revelation: Lift up your eyes, Church, for your redemption draweth nigh!
He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords!”
The Baby God Man invades the silent planet
So, in the shadow of Herod’s palace, in a cave that housed livestock, the Light of the World was born. People were going about their business: registering for a census, herding sheep, collecting taxes and purchasing food, totally unaware that, in the split second of a Baby’s cry, the game had changed.
Angels appeared to shepherds who were the lowest of the low in terms of societal influence. The angels could have called out to kings; God had them call to the "unimportant." It was they who hurried to worship the Baby King.
And over the next two years, some wise men named Melchoir, Caspar and Balthazar, tracked down this child and gave Him gifts:
Gold – A gift for kings
Frankincense – In recognition of Jesus’ divinity. It was burned as a pleasant fragrance in prayers
Myrrh – Used in embalming the dead-A recognition of His eventual suffering.
Many believe that they were Zoroastrians, not even Jews! Their visit was a hint of things to come. Jesus was about to reach into every corner of this dark world with His light.
Imagine a God invasion today. Here is what happened in a food court.
TWW leaves you with a Christmas pageant video — New Zealand style. May God bless you with the joy of His presence during this season. Merry Christmas. We’ll be back next Wednesday.
Lydia's Corner: Job 31:1-33:33 2 Corinthians 3:1-18 Psalm 43:1-5 Proverbs 22:8-9