Based on my perspective as a Christian, I believe that we are living in exciting times even though the latest Pew Research Report clearly documents the decline of Christianity all over the world.
On Sojourners website, Stephen Mattson writes:
“For Christians, the most worrying aspect about the Pew Research Report shouldn’t be that Christianity is declining, but that the population of those claiming to be Christian hasn’t historically affected the nation in a very Christlike way. For a faith based upon following the example of Jesus — who brought healing, restoration, empowerment, peace, forgiveness, justice, and love wherever he went — the statistics for when Christianity had the largest majority of the population within the U.S. unfortunately correlates with some of our country’s most racist, unfair, violent, and inhumane moments. So before we lament the decrease of “Christianity” and mourn its death within America, maybe we should be hopeful that this is an opportunity for followers of Christ to actually act like Jesus — becoming a Christian nation for possibly the very first time.”
I have written “Mary’s Song” to fan the embers of our awareness to God’s Perfect Plan for us since the beginning, centered in the coming of Jesus Christ and how we can trace it down through history. God is bigger than we can even imagine, yet he shapes the smallest details of our lives if we ask him, to give us the best most fulfilling life we could ever have. We can’t possibly understand our connection to God the Father unless we right size him in our perspectives. Even at this very moment, God continues making a universe that we don’t have telescopes big enough or strong enough to measure his size. If you were to lay a quarter on the ground, it’s comparison in relative size to the North American continent would be like comparing the size of our solar system to the Milky Way Galaxy, our home, which is only one of billions of galaxies. We don’t have microscopes powerful enough to see how infinitesimally small his identity in creation can go. Wrapping our minds around this helps us appreciate even more the magnitude of this God who only wants our praise and to be the center of our love and devotion as we are the center of his love.
I hope that this writing will reaffirm your faith and belief in the impact of the timeless story of the nativity of God’s unfathomable love for us and that God is faithful and keeps all his covenant promises.
RITA FOSTER, FROM SWEETWATER
The infant’s first cries pierced the cold night heralding at long last the arrival of hope, of redemptive grace and yes, spiritual revolution. Nothing would ever be the same again. The stars overhead gave witness to this long anticipated event that came in a hidden moment, away from the public eye. This cry would break the silence of 400 years with no prophets – not a written word from the One true living God. Joseph gave a sigh of relief that mother and son were now resting and quiet. The moment of water and blood had come and gone without mishap. Mary brought forth her firstborn son, and wrappedhim in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
“The true Light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. ” From Matthew and John
God with us – looked up into his mother’s young face searching to know her as newborns do, soothed by the warmth of her faded into sleep. Here was the infant prophesied by all the great prophets. Micah spoke of Him having origins from ancient times. Yet here He was – nothing ancient about this sweet boy in her arms. Here was this child that just months prior had been foretold by a heavenly messenger that she would be given.
She recalled with wonder the visit she had made to her cousin Elizabeth as the Holy Spirit had moved upon her and Elizabeth. “In a loud voice she (Elizabeth) exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
“And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me — holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful.” Luke 1:42-54, NIV
*You can read “Mary’s Song” in its entirety on the Houston Herald website and at www.sweetwaterjourney.com.