By Paul Lawler



From Bethlehem to Beyond


His name was Oblivious.  

You may be well acquainted with him; or you may have never heard of him.  And yet, on a mysteriously subtle level, you may even be him.

Oblivious has been around a long time.  His tentacles reach back thousands of years.  And his tentacles reach deep into the minds of the masses.

Oblivious is insatiably clever.  Working year round, he’s especially astute this time of year.  While most feed on the trappings of what the Christmas season has become, Oblivious thrives in his best work.

He’s been at it for a long time.

Two thousand years ago, in a city called Bethlehem, there were those who proclaimed, “The Savior of the world has been born.”  While significant at the deepest levels, Oblivious was ready.  The deadening pathogen of oblivion was unleashed. As the virus spread, critical masses were willing hosts and carriers.  


Oblivious infected the people.

Oblivious infected the synagogue attendees.

Oblivious infected the religious leaders.


There’s a church that meets on a hill in a city called Birmingham.

Some say God is moving through her people.  

Thousands around the world experience new birth.

The poor are cared for in many ways; “the least of these” are loved and the oppressed are set free.

Revival pulses are expressed.


And yet, even still . . .


Oblivious continues to infect many people.

Oblivious continues to infect many church attendees.

Oblivious continues to infect many religious leaders.


Strange isn’t it?  As we move from Bethlehem to Birmingham and beyond; the more things change, the more they remain the same.

Oblivious is on the move:  Spreading his deadly virus in Jesus’ day; and spreading his deadly virus in our day.



Paul Lawler is the Lead-Pastor of Christ Church UMC, and founder of The Immersion School, a discipleship training center in Birmingham, Alabama. He and his wife, MJ, have four children and one daughter-in-law. In addition to serving as a pastor, Paul and his brother, Dallas area businessman, Patrick Lawler, founded the Patricia B. Hammonds Girl’s Home for 60 orphans at high risk for human trafficking in Thailand. The home is operated through the international ministry of the Compassionate Hope Foundation. They are currently laboring to build a second home in Thailand for 50 orphans vulnerable to being trafficked. Paul often tweets Kingdom thoughts at @plawler111.

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