My hometown is celebrating “Miracle on McLeod Street” this evening for their lighted Christmas parade. Inspired by the theme, I share again the greatest miracle I imagine on McLeod Street (with a few updates). Merry Christmas, Big Timber, Montana!
‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Luke 19:38(NKJV)
Dear Jesus, I imagine You riding into Big Timber, Montana as You did so long ago in Jerusalem. You borrow a donkey from the Langhus ranch south of town, riding over the interstate, past the park and swimming pool. Right down McLeod Street You trot, just as I’m arriving at the library for storytime.
Joel, Kevin, and I see the crowds laying out jackets, so we throw ours down, too. I even grab the stadium blanket from the back of the car to cushion Your path. I wish Kent and Jacob were here, and then they pull up in their work truck, having just finished a job nearby. They lay out their jackets, too.
We see You as our Savior, the One who makes everything right. We bow, we cheer, we cry, we smile. We don’t want this moment to end. We sing, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.”
For the moment we forget our troubles and bask in Your holiness, wishing You would stay with us forever. Mrs. Jackie, Mr. Goos, James and other library regulars pour out into the street to join us in worship. Even Mrs. Debbie and the preschool children wave leafy branches. Others keep arriving, adding to the celebration.
Pastors Bryan, Kyle, Jeremy, Joel, Ron and Justin, along with their wives and families are delighted to see the One Whom they proclaim every week. The grade school and high school dismiss at midday, sending droves of young people to Jesus’ feet. Yellow buses deliver children from the country schools. I see my Sunday school kids, and shout, “This is Jesus! The One who loves you!”
People pour out of every shop on main street as the healing begins. Jake’s kidney is well forever, Stacy, Jeff and Jan are truly cancer-free, Pat and Lief throw down their crutches, and Greysen’s insides are like new. Gordon brings the kitchen band from the Senior Center, praising Jesus with melodies. And all who have lost loved ones are suddenly comforted by the One who is acquainted with all our sorrows.
Smart phones are snapping photos. The Pioneer sends Lindsey and Mackenzie to cover the story. Sheriff Dan brings all his deputies. Chief Kris calls out the fire engines to blare their sirens in praise. It is the grandest parade Big Timber has even seen! The children love it, even though there is no candy, for when Jesus looks into their eyes and says, “Come to Me,” it is sweeter than anything in heaven or earth.
Suddenly Jesus takes me and another hurting mom aside. He pulls us into the Lutheran Church where the bells have been tolling continuously. Jesus ushers us right to the confirmation photo board and shows us our children. He whispers to our hurting our hearts, “Fear not, for I have redeemed them; I have called them by name; They are Mine.” And we are comforted, knowing that Jesus holds our children, even when they are far away.
As we return outside to the bright sunshine, I realize I was never without Sonshine with Jesus by my side. My walking buddy Beth hurries over, pushing her daughter Della in the baby jogger. I wave and hug her, exclaiming, “Isn’t this the BEST! This is Jesus Who I was telling you about!” Our friends Elsbeth and Ole are there for storytime, too. Jesus gives Els a special wink and promises of good things to come.
I hear someone comment, “I wish Lola could have seen this!” Her friend replies, “Lola invited Him!” Lt. Alan drives up in a patrol car. The doors pop open with John, Diane and Cindy completely recovered from their Minnesota adventures. The crowd cheers yet again.
Together the whole town cries, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!” And we are changed forever, trusting in the One who is King of the universe. We follow Jesus all the way down McLeod Street, over the railroad tracks where the antiquers and apartment folks cheer wildly. Then down to the fairgrounds we follow Jesus.
Jesus dismounts His donkey, looks into all our hearts, speaking words of peace and comfort to our souls. Then He climbs aboard a fishing boat, taking a beaming Connie and other beloved townspeople with Him. As they sail down the Yellowstone River to the next town, a rainbow appears in the sky above, reminding us that God always remembers His promises.
We make the long journey back to the library and I see families and friends who weren’t talking, hugging again. I wonder if more people will come to church on Sunday? Will they come to worship Him and learn more about this Jesus who came to town? Do they know He is coming again with the clouds, and every eye will see Him? O Jesus, I can’t wait!
O Jesus, come to Big Timber, come to my family, come to me. Wash away our hurts, heal our diseases, make things right. Send your Holy Spirit to help and comfort us until You come again. Do your miracles and be glorified, my precious Jesus.
Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:27-28 (NKJV)
We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (NKJV)
“…lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:20 (NKJV)