December 25th, 2022
Friends, I pray you each had a beautiful holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus, our reason for celebrating Christmas. I am not so naïve to believe that everyone’s prayer were answered today, as if God were a genie granting wishes or that Jesus is like Santa delivering gifts. Holidays can be difficult for many people for a variety of reasons, but we always have HOPE. Hope is Jesus and the promise to be with Him in eternity. I have a friend that had planned for all her children to be with her and her husband this Christmas and unfortunately because of Winter Storm Elliott, their daughter’s flight was cancelled. What a bummer! They were disappointed but these things do happen and it did to several people this holiday traveling season. Disappointments, yes…thankful to be safe and loved is precious. And, another friend of mine is most likely celebrating Christmas with her father for the last time this side of heaven. Knowing that all involved are believers, helps and with the joys of being present with one another, a sense of sadness may also be casting a shadow or chill. The birth of Jesus is our gift from God, knowing we will always be loved and beloved by Him. This earthly life because of sin, will have its measures of pain, of sorrows and of grief, but because of a baby born in Bethlehem laying in a manger, these are all temporary. Our real home is not here, it is “Further Up, Further In.”
I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!— C.S. Lewis
If you have never read “The Chronicles of Narnia,” I highly recommend them to both children and adults. I recently re-read them all and now I’m reading “Finding God in Narnia,” also a great book, the writer takes you on a beautiful trip weaving you through Narnia and the Bible.
“The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.” (Meaning: They had arrived in heaven).— C.S. Lewis
Further up and further in— C.S. Lewis
The Magi Visit The Messiah
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;for out of you will come a rulerwho will shepherd my people Israel.’” Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
— Matthew 2:1-12
The Birth of Jesus
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven,and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.
- Luke 2:1-21
Thank you so much for journeying with me through Advent. I am thankful for each one of you and I am grateful for your support and encouragement. Much love, peace, hope and joy to you.
~Charlotte, Seeker of unexpected Comfort, Happiness, Joy and Patience.