9Rejoice Greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)
Rejoice! Shout! Your King, your righteous, victorious King, comes to you riding a lowly donkey. The prophecy above was fulfilled when Jesus, the King of Kings, entered Jerusalem on the back of a colt for His final Passover festival where He would be crucified for all mankind. Well, in twelve days, we celebrate another story of Jesus that involves a donkey, and that is when Joseph and Mary travel to Bethlehem for the required census from Caesar. Mary was 9-months pregnant and faced with making a 145 kilometer trek through ancient Israel. A humble donkey carried the Savior of the world toward the place He would enter into humanity.
Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ miraculous birth. A time where the world comes together to celebrate the Hope of Salvation. For thousands, if not tens of thousands of Americans, their Christmas joy has just been violently ripped from them due to the cataclysmic storm system that spawned one of the biggest, if not the biggest, tornado in American History. The pictures and stories pouring in from the Midwest are heartbreaking, and right before Christmas makes the tragedies even more painful to all experiencing the loss of their loved ones, their homes, their communities. It is a time where those with little or no faith continue to struggle to believe that a good God could ever allow bad things like this happen to innocent people. Christmas is a hard time to ask for extra financial donations, but the people of Mayfield, Kentucky were among the hardest hit and need our help. The monster “Quad-state” twister nearly destroyed their entire town. The pictures and videos of this twister’s path look like a war zone. The devastation of the candle factory where seventy people lost their lives is a nightmare landscape. The power of mother nature struck on the night of December 10 in a horrific reminder of our fragile existence. If you have the ability, I invite you to visit some of the charity organizations that have been on the ground since day 1. And if you are never sure of which Charity is the best to donate to, so your money goes the furthest, Charity Navigator is my go-to in helping navigate those unfortunately murky waters.
Pastor Steven Furtick preached a message of hope for moments such as these. Despite the darkness that surrounds disaster, “Something Good is Coming From This.” Only with faith can we hold to the hope of the light in the midst of despair. But know, God works all things for the good of those who love Him and have been called to His purpose. If you watch this sermon today, they are still including the outreach that Elevation Church is currently working to help the victims of these storms. If your church is not pouring all its resources into helping the communities affected, it might be time to find a new church. This is the time we Christian warriors need to roll up our sleeves, pull out our wallets, open our homes, do anything we can to help our brothers and sisters in need.
This is the firm foundation that is Christ: faith, hope, love. Build your house upon that cornerstone. Cody Carnes new single is a miracle melody in this moment.
Charities putting in work right now:
All Hands and Hearts Smart Response
Matthew 25: Ministries
Reading plan: Revelation 13; Zechariah 9