Tuesday, December 24, 2019
“In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told to them.
Oh Holy Night! Tonight, I had the privilege of attending Christmas Eve services at my church, the service was designed for the children and it was beautiful. Message was different individuals narrating from the book, “Christmas Love Letters from God: Bible Stories” by Glenys Nellist and Illustrator Rachel Clowes. As listeners of the readings, the congregation was encouraged to write their own love letter to God and during communion to drop it in the basket next to the manger scene. Many people participated, myself included. The service was filled with lots of Christmas songs and ended with everyone lighting a candle and standing in the circle, emulating the light of Jesus and Jesus being the light of the world. It was a beautiful scene to behold. It is a reminder that the chases the darkness away. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” ~John 1:5
I learned something new tonight about a favorite Christmas song of mine, “Joy To The World.” It was originally written about the Second Coming of Christ, not the first as a baby. *See references below for the full story.
I am currently sitting in my church, it is quiet, not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse.
All I hear is the pecking of the keys on the laptop I am using. It is in the quiet spaces that God speaks to us, listen He is always there. I am sitting here in the somewhat silence preparing my blog and waiting for the 11pm Christmas Eve service. This is truly a joyful season and I am thankful for so many things. I am blessed to be a part of this Christian community of believers, I am blessed that through this mode of communications I have been able to reach people and places I have only dreamed about. To say my life is perfect would be incorrect, but then again perfection is only a God thing, we are human and have a sinful nature and our goal should not be perfection but to be Christlike in all we do. Love one another as Christ loved.
“…Just as I have loved you, you should love one another.” ~John 13:34b
May you rest in the knowledge and peace that you are loved beyond measure and that God is always with you. I wish you the Merriest of Christmas’ and Happy Holiday’s no matter how you celebrate. All I know is that you are all my brothers and sisters and this family of God thing is AWESOME!
Lord, you have come in dramatic fashion and invite each of us to meet you at the manger. Tonight, we come to kneel, worship, and celebrate. As we gather tonight singing carols by candlelight, reveal your grace to us. Through the greatest story ever told, weave our stories into yours. ~Amen.