Birth of Christ

A Christmas Message from Trail Life USA

Stephen Ashton

Throughout history, God has captured the attention of humanity in many ways: a worldwide flood, raining fire, sending plagues, confusing languages, burning bushes, angelic appearances, wrestling matches, parting seas, and crumbling walls to name a few. The most effective, however; seems less dramatic. Every December the whole world stops and celebrates the birth of an infant. Nothing God did in all of history compared to what would be accomplished in the three short years of Jesus ministry.  The twelve men Jesus lived alongside would go on to change the world.  However, after his death, it certainly did not appear that way.  These men who knew him best ran away, hid, and it seems…quit.

Jesus with His Disciples I wonder what happened hiding there in the darkness scared, confused, and filled with despair. I imagine there was silence for a long while as memories flooded back.  Then, the silence broke as they began to tell stories, to reminisce, and to wonder how they could have gotten things so wrong. Sitting by the fire in a dark room likely stirred up memories of laughing after a meal around the campfire. I envision them recalling the time Jesus took Peter fishing. Retelling the stories Jesus told while they were hiking. Remembering the time they were scared to death by a storm while Jesus slept in the boat. I bet they remembered the argument they had about who would be the greatest. How silly that must have seemed now. Jesus was gone! They missed their friend.

Then something happened that had never happened before in history. A resurrected Jesus showed up in their living room! No one could believe it! The years they had spent building a relationship with Jesus began to make sense; and nothing would ever be the same! The disciples spent the rest of their lives building relationships and sharing what they knew to be true. They poured into people … who poured into people … who poured into people … until someone poured into you. Who was Jesus to you? Mentoring Boys

For many of you it was a parent or loved one. Perhaps it was a pastor or a coach. For boys in Trail Life USA it is the Troop leaders who weekly give of their time to impact boys the same way Jesus did: fishing, hiking, boating, cooking, arguing, eating, laughing, singing, telling campfire stories, and challenging and transforming their way of thinking. In these encounters, they meet a person who loves them as they are…but will not leave them that way.

Trail Life USA brings effective tools for communities of men to band together mentoring their sons and boys in their community. Thank you for building wholesome relationships with boys and growing them to become godly men of character who will lead as husbands, fathers, and citizens.  Because they experience the love of Jesus through your life…nothing will ever be the same!

About the Author

Stephen Ashton