Upon seeing the words “The First Christmas” your mind is probably conjuring images of Mary and baby Jesus and the shepherds. The imagery is iconic, isn’t it? Whether the result of a careful reading of Luke 2, or exposure to nativity sets of all kinds, pretty much everyone knows what is meant by “The First Christmas.”
Have you ever experienced a moment that changed everything for you? A moment that you can look at - and without a doubt - say your life hasn’t been the same since?
Maybe it was moving to a new city or school. Maybe it was a new friend entering your life or an old friend exiting. Maybe it was a beautiful marriage or the birth of your first child ... or a painful divorce or child turning away from you.
Maybe your “That Changed Everything” moment had nothing to do with the things of Earth - instead it took place due to a spiritual experience with God in which you KNEW that your faith was real.
Take a few seconds to look at the palms of your hands.
You likely noticed one thing above all else: lines. Lots and lots of lines. Some deep, some traceable, some barely noticeable...these pathways serve as unique identifiers for every person. Known as palmar flexion creases, the lines on our palms are actually there so we can open, close, and stretch our hands. Indeed, we are wonderfully made.
As for why the song seemed odd to me as a child: I had never really thought of prayer being something that happens outside of traditional worship settings or beside a bed at night. To hear this mainstream entertainment superstar talking about prayer being something we need to do every day just to “make it” was kind of mind blowing.
Being a Christian is easier said than done. We deal with devastating setbacks followed by incredible opportunities, the death of loved ones followed by the birth of new loved ones, situations we can’t control followed by moments of knowing exactly how to help, and seasons of isolation followed by times of fruitfulness and friendship.
“Seems like you need a clearer vision of what you’re doing after college. Try coming up with a five-year plan.” Those were the words of an academic advisor at Auburn University after listening to me propose careers such as reporting the news, researching media effects, writing for the then-popular King of the Hill television show, and of course, touring in a rock band.