High Crimes and Misdemeanors

History has been written. He was charged with trumped up crimes. He had been arrested by the leading priests out of envy. A kangaroo court was held at night. Bogus witnesses were brought in. Lies were told about him. Fabricated stories were shared to make the man appear to be a criminal.

He kept to his story. The truth. That’s all he had ever shared. No embellishments. No condemnation. He proclaimed that he was the great “I Am”. 

He had been seen performing miracles. He had been heard explaining Scripture and prophecies in the temple. Some people were amazed at his teaching, while others ridiculed him for speaking the truth. His former neighbors couldn’t believe that this man who once was a carpenter was claiming to be the Messiah. The Savior of the world. He was saying he was God himself.

Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. If he performed a miracle on the Sabbath, they cried foul. He called them out for their double standards. They demanded justice. He looked at them with pity, for he knew their hearts were hardened against him and the truth. They plotted how to kill him.

The teachers of religious law claimed he was possessed by satan. How can God Almighty be possessed by the devil himself?

Now he was on trial. Crowds rallied against him. Even though they had witnessed his miracles. Even though he had welcomed them and their children with open arms. He had broken bread with them. He never spoke ill of them. His crime was loving them. That he was guilty of. There is no doubt.

When asked to prove who he was, he kept silent. He was beaten to a pulp. His clothes were pulled off of him. The soldiers rolled dice to see who would get a piece of fabric he wore.

Oh. He was mocked. He was taunted. He was spit on. He was abused to the nth degree. But they could not prove that he had sinned or committed a crime.  Because he hadn’t. He was innocent.

When they placed the crown of thorns on his head, you can bet he shook with pain. When they heaved the heavy wooden cross on his back, he trembled from the weight of it. When he was forced to walk up the path to the hill of Calvary, he struggled from weakness. He couldn’t carry the weight of the cross alone. Someone else was forced to carry the weapon of death for him. When his side was slit open, he gasped from the shock. When the gall soaked sponge was pressed to his lips, he drank. Then his torn, worn out body gave up and breathed a final breath. It. Is. Finished. 

This man was innocent of any and all crimes. But through the three years of his ministry, he was constantly ridiculed and mocked. He was denied justice. A hardened criminal was freed in his place. At his sentencing, a murderer was set free, and the innocent Son of God was sentenced to death.


Don’t be afraid. Just have faith. Mark 5:36


His name is Immanuel. God with us. Whether we seek his presence or even acknowledge him, he is with us. Even now. So many years after his birth as a human, he is still with us.

Even as a toddler, he was hunted. King Herod went on a rampage and had boys age 2 and under killed. This child was on the wanted list before he could speak. How dare he even be born. This God child. It was his Father’s plan for him to physically come to earth. He knew his birth would start a revolution that to this day has never ended. But he still sent his son to live among God’s creation. He worked and moved among God’s chosen people and those who rejected God. He was one of them for 33 years.

And when the time came for him to show and prove his true identity, the naysayers also showed themselves for who they really were. Was it a crime to heal people? Was it a crime to speak the truth? Was it a crime to be God?

Some say it depends on who you ask. But it doesn’t. In this case, the truth will prevail.

He showed the world. The past world and present day. Sure. They killed the physical body that God wore for a few years. But they didn’t kill God. God isn’t killable. He was alive. He is alive today. And he will always live. He is not guilty of a crime. He cannot sin. He loves and He forgives. The one who died in that body on the cross is sitting at the right hand of God in heaven today. He is preparing space for you and for me to join him.

Heavenly Assignment

I was asked to take on a new client at the last minute. I knew the two owners, my employers, would also be on the conference call. Me. The newbie. Them. The experienced owners. No pressure.

So I took the little bit of time I had and prepared. I’m not the spontaneous type. I’m methodical. Calculated. Deliberate. I don’t normally do things on the fly. Oh. I do if I have to. But the fly doesn’t seem to go well for me. But I couldn’t say that. I couldn’t let them see me sweat. I couldn’t let them hear the nervousness I was feeling.

So I did the one thing I do. I prayed. I asked God to empower me with boldness. I asked him to enable me to calmly present the information. I asked him to equip me for the work ahead.

Faith in God is liberating. Faith allows God to do the work that my fears and worries would only stifle. And God came through for me. Instead of fear and nervousness, I was calm and relaxed.

Oh. The majority of the work is still ahead. But it will get done. There may be more long work days ahead. But the task is for me and I am equipped.


You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what he said. Luke 1:45


Mary heard the Angel’s message. You are favored. You will conceive and bear a son. You will name him Jesus. He will be the Savior of the world. I’m sure she was alarmed. I’m sure she felt inadequate. But she also felt called and blessed among women.

Mary didn’t whine or complain about the assignment from God. She accepted the call to be the mother of the God child. The angel had told her about her cousin, Elizabeth, who was pregnant at an old age. He said that the word of God will never fail. Nothing is impossible with God. And Mary accepted the news without a backward glance. She was all in. In spite of being outside her comfort zone. There was no turning back.

Mary spent some time with Elizabeth, who was also unusually pregnant at an advanced age.  Their boys would cause the world to stand up and take notice.   And Mary was thankful that God noticed her.

Oh. I haven’t been asked to bear the Son of God. But I have been noticed by God. He sees all that I do. He leads me in paths that I might not choose. But I choose to take the path where He leads. I’ve been asked to take on responsibilities that seem to stretch me every day. But I know God has led me there, so I’m all in. Regardless of the difficulty and unsettledness that others feel there, I am at peace.

Oh. The peace comes because I continue to ask God to help me. I continue to ask God to work in me and through me. And He does. Even though the angel hasn’t visited me, words of truth and comfort are whispered to me from the Lover of my Soul. So no matter the difficulty of the task I’ve been given, I am blessed because I believe the Lord will do what he says. Nothing is impossible with God.


Come As You Are

Shepherds first learned the news.  An angel appeared to them in the dark of night.   They were frightened.  The angel said not to be afraid.  But it’s not every night that an angel appears in the sky.  He said he had good news.  What kind of good news do angels share with shepherds?  The Savior of the world has been born.  Go to Bethlehem and find a baby lying in a manger.  You will recognize him.  They searched until they found the stable. They saw the babe lying in that dirty manger.  He’s the one they searched for.

The shepherds themselves were dirty.  Out in the fields for days on end.  No place to clean up.  No chance to bathe.  No time to throw on fresh clothes.  Dirt and worse was caked under their fingernails.  Dried sweat coated their bodies.  Those shepherds.  They had no time to trim their hair or oil their beards.  They were smelly.  Sure.  They smelled like sheep.  

They came as they were.  Unruly.  Loud.  Dirty.  Outcasts.   Able to lead sheep, but unable to lead men.  

These shepherds were the first to see the Savior.  That newborn babe.  Fresh from the womb.  Lying in a manger.  So they went out and spread the news.  They told others what they had seen and who they had met.  They were unlikely messengers sharing the greatest message the world has heard.

That encounter with the babe wasn’t a random occurrence.  It was ordained by God Almighty.  He had that moment planned since the beginning of time.  Those shepherds honored and worshiped the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  


For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.  John 3:17


I’m like those shepherds.  When I came to Jesus, I was coated with sin.  I had disobedience caked under my nails. My skin had greed written all over it. My heart hid selfish pride.  I didn’t have a chance to clean up before meeting the babe in the manger.  But my uncleanness made the cleansing more meaningful.  All these years later.  I still find uncleanness wedged in places I thought had been cleaned.   I still need a daily washing in the love and forgiveness of this King.  I still need to keep the stain of wrongdoings  and bad attitudes washed in the blood.

Why wouldn’t God choose the smelly?  The unbathed?  The social outcasts?  This baby was born for them.  He later died on that cross for them.  He said everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.  

Here’s the good news. That babe lying in the manger is in the cleaning business.  Oh.  He begins the cleanup immediately once he’s invited in.  The sins that have coated your heart with darkness are completely washed away.  It’s a power wash.  Your heart is instantly painted pure white.  No stains.  But other cleaning can take longer.  Bad habits may take years to overcome.  Branches of greed and roots of bitterness must be pruned and uprooted.  The cleanup actually takes a lifetime.