“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…”  1 Timothy 1:15

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.  I was moving along, mulching up leaves in my back yard, just as I have every fall for the past upteen years.  Then, the same underground stump I’ve mowed over for all those years decided to raise its ugly head…and my mower caught it.  The engine sputtered and died, but not before gouging the ground with its bent blade.  So, not only did I bend the blade, but the ground around looked like it had been freshly plowed instead of mowed.  And that underground stump just sat there smiling at me.

So I pushed the broken, dead mower to the driveway and called the repairman.  Then the Fall ice storm of 2018 happened - right on my lawn mower that has never spent the night outside.  It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

After a few days, they came for my mower.  It’s been three days now and I’m still waiting.

Go back to God’s good creation, all the way back to the garden and Adam and Eve.  That was how it was supposed to be.  No sin, either out in the open or hidden.  No stumps, either above or below the ground.  Then, at the one and only place to stumble, humanity chooses wrong - chooses against God - and gets terribly snagged by the notion of,  “I’ve always done it this way.  It’s too hard to go around.  I’ll be fine doing it my way.  It's just not fair; there should have been a fence around it if it’s all that bad.” 

So, in the end, we all are in a bad and desperate place…and it looks like the enemy has won.  It wasn't supposed to be like this.

But, wait!  Look over there toward Bethlehem!  There’s a rumor, actually an ancient word, that God isn’t finished with us yet.  God looked over the landscape and said, “It wasn’t supposed to be like this.”  And since God is the only One who can do anything about it…He did!

Christmas really is as simple as Paul made it to be in his letter to Timothy, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners."  Read on in his letter and Paul is even willing to take ownership of being the worst of sinners.  I’m not sure about that, only because I know me and you and lots of other people - just saying.

Bottom line; let’s all be glad and celebrate Christmas with lots of joy and with smiles on our faces.  There are still lots of stumps out there, both above and below ground, and the enemy would love to take us out.  But, because of Christmas, God has taken us in, made the repairs, and sent us back out fresh and clean. For now, that's the way it’s supposed to be.

Have a wonderfully blessed Christmas!