Posted December 21, 2015 by
Yesterday my pastor started his sermon talking about the costs of Northwoods living: bears robbing your bird feeders, consistent negative temperatures for two months a year, long drives to the nearest whole foods store, really slow internet, small schools with fewer resources, no access to Netflix and nothing to do on the weekends. He reflected on what people from the city often say, "Why would you want to live there?". Though we miss out on many of the conveniences and blessings of modern 21st century life in America, its not too often that I think of living here in the Northwoods as a sacrifice.
These pictures capture my morning commute to HoneyRock this time of year. Recently, one morning I pulled the canoe on shore amidst a family of five otters chirping and sliding their way across the thin ice that was forming out from shore. That same morning ... an eagle soared over my head as I paddled past Miller's Cove and the Stillwaters cabins on my way to work. In so many ways, living in the Northwoods is a blessing, especially when I consider why I'm here....to welcome people to this place apart for the purpose of restoring their soul, connecting with the Creator of all this beauty, and helping them experience the richness of Christian community.
I wonder if Jesus saw leaving heaven with all its blessings as a sacrifice. Did some misguided angels say, "Why would you want to live there? That place is harsh, mean, lonely, and cold."
My bet is that Jesus was excited to step into creation, to walk with us, to experience our world as a human being. He left all the convenience of heaven to provide a way for us to connect with His father and see the world as He does....beautiful, redeemable, full of love. May you experience this reality this Christmas.
"And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." - Luke 2:8-10 ESV
~ written by Rob Ribbe