“Give me fresh eyes, Lord,” is a prayer I have prayed since 1981 as I would head into the Advent season. It was often with a sense of despair as I prepared several messages on perhaps the most familiar story in the entire Bible. Back in those days, it was Sunday morning and Sunday evening services. How do you tell the same old story again and again? Isn’t it amazing how familiarity, if not breeding contempt, can easily breed boredom? And perhaps boredom is even worse.
Of course I am referring to the story of Jesus birth. Fully God, Fully man.
There were shepherds – who were nobodies and Magi — who were somebodies.
There were prophets with old promises and Caesar Augustus with a new decree.
An old couple like Zacharias and Elizabeth and young couple like Mary and Joseph. And a baby born … surrounded by barnyard animals and heavenly angels.
How do we take that for granted?
About sixty years later, a former Pharisee, commissioned into service on the road to Damascus. The one who spent his days getting rid of disciples and evangelists – is now a disciple and evangelist. Saul of Tarsus, the one who persecuted churches, is now the founder of churches. He writes in a letter, 2 Cor. 9:15, now known as Paul the Apostle, “Thanks be to God for this… this… indescribable gift.” It is unable to be described, impossible to be described. We can’t fathom the depth of this gift!
I now realize, in all my attempts, for all those years – put them all together – and I have yet to even come close to describing that wonderful gift of God’s inexpressible, infinite Son wrapped in love and provided for people like you and me.
This year, as a State Pastor, I do not need to come up with an Advent series. But my prayer is still the same. Don’t let me lose the wonder, the awe, the majesty, and the mystery of the story of Christmas. Take me to the manger one more time … with fresh eyes to see this gift, too wonderful for words.
My Christmas wish for you, your ministry, your church, your family – Fresh Eyes!
Ministerial Christmas Dinner
The dinner was December 3 at Mountain Park Community Church. It was a great evening, celebrating the Christmas season.A time of roller skating was had by all
Allan brings a Christmas message
AYC Winter Camp
Mark your calendars for 2016 Arizona Youth Camp (formerly Winter Blast) at Lost Canyon Camp in Williams, AZ. Students in grades 6-12 are invited to join in this life-changing weekend, filled with fun, worship, and challenging messages!
AYC will be February 12-15, 2016 and Zane Black will be our speaker.
This weekend costs $179 which includes lodging for three nights and seven meals.
If you would like to receive information about registering your group, please contact Kayla Harden.
Below are photos from last year’s camp!
How to Contact Don
If you wish to contact Don by email you may do so at email@example.com.
Or you may call him at <480-387-7787<.