Merry Christmas from the Brenners

I used to wish I was Mary. Yes, Mary the wife of Joseph and mother of Jesus. I grew up thinking what an honor it would have been to carry the Savior of the world, inside of my body. To have been counted as worthy somewhere between 14 & 16 years old, to carry God's Son, to feel God in the flesh kicking around and growing inside of me. I will forever see Mary as honorable; what a beautiful young lady. Now, as a 21 year young lady, that dream has slowly vanished and been replaced with an utmost respect for Mary. She could have been stoned to death among other horrific events to "ruin a life" at such a young age; and yet, she decided to trust The Lord God and say "I am yours. Your will be done, Lord, not mine." The reverence for The Lord she had, must have been deep and powerful: it moved her to be willing to sacrifice her future, her life. Something we {even still} place so much emphasis on: it tends to define us.

The words written in the Bible illustrating the birth of our KING mean so much more to me today than they did just 2 years ago. Two years ago {and even still today} I talked about the story so flippantly. But it's not flippant. It isn't "no big deal." It is not fiction. It is not solely a historical event. It is real and it is soul shaking. If you "dare to" allow the Truth to penetrate your soul.

Last night during Christmas Eve service, I was so stirred by thinking of the night Jesus was born. I was struck with awe as I imagined being there. What a holy night. A true night of glory, honor, magnificence. I mean, can you imagine the presence of angels?! Heavenly hosts?! Jesus Christ himself?! There are no words to describe it, I am sure. I recently had the privilege of being a Doula-In-Training for a friends labor/birth...the honor I had from that rocked my soul. I cannot even dream of the honor it would have been the night of Jesus' first breath in this world. 20131225-152308.jpg

Have you ever stopped to let the words of Christmas carols sink in? They're beautiful. The picture the lyrics paint are glorious:

"Son of God, love's pure light Radiant beams from thy holy face With the dawn of redeeming grace ... heavenly hosts sing alleluia." {Silent Night}

"No more let sins and sorrows grow Nor thorns infest the ground: He comes to make his blessings flow Far as the curse is found.

He rules the earth with truth and grace." {Joy To The World}

These carols pierced my heart last night and I pray, I pray that they may pierce yours. That this year, today, songs of old would be renewed in your heart, livening your Spirit as they did mine.


We Christians often ask "non Christians" to "take a leap of faith" towards God. You know what I mean? {Whether you think you need Jesus or not, whether you see Him as Lord of your heart or just some far off idea for other people...I want you to consider something}. What if for a moment, we instead slowed down to see the leap God made towards us. Re read it & pause.

He leaped further than any of us could even dare to imagine. He, God the Creator, sent His own self in the flesh, His Son just to be with us. To reconcile. To offer grace. Grace and redemption as a gift. To offer peace when it makes no sense. To bring joy when sorrowful. To present hope when all is hopeless.

That is the gift I want to continuously receive and also the gift I pray to perpetually give.

Merry Christmas, folks. Be blessed. 20131225-161158.jpg