Saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Luke 19:38 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:14 ESV
As Jesus neared Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, it seemed that the world finally understood why He came. But it was not to be and Jesus wept because in the.midst of apparent triumph, He could see could see the cross just ahead and the destruction of Jerusalem in the not too distant future.
And yet for just that single moment the message that the angels had once told the shepherds echoed in the hearts and on the lips of those who loved Him. The same is true in our world this Christmas Eve. With bombs falling in Ukraine and churches burning in Nigeria, it might seem that peace on earth is never to be. Yet in the hearts of those who have not only run to the manger, but have come to love Him, there is a heavenly echo of all that God intends to be one day. Just as surely as the sun will rise this morning, Jesus will return one day. He will sit on David’s throne and all the world will bow before Him. Then the true peace of Heaven will rule and the glory in the highest will shine on us forever. Merry Christmas everybody! May God bless us today with an echo of all He has for those who love Him and rejoice in Him no matter what is happening in our lives. Glory to God who is in the highest and who reigns above it all!
"To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. John 10:3 NKJV
Does it bother you when people forget your name? Are you offended, or at this holiday season when the song says “There’s no place like home for the holidays.”, are you wondering if there is anyone who wants you around or knows what you are going through? In the chapter just before today’s verse, we are introduced to a blind man who receives a more detailed story than anyone else in John’s gospel (except of course Jesus), but we are never told his name. The disciples asked if he were a sinner and his neighbors just referred to him as the blind beggar. His parents simply confessed him as son, then the Pharisees named him; a sinner. Not one person uttered his name. Maybe he felt invisible, anonymous and rejected. But no matter whether, they knew his name, the most important part of this story is that Jesus did! If we keep reading we find that Jesus came to meet him after he was rejected by others and called him individually to believe and follow. Today, just like that blind man, Jesus has come for you. Jesus wants to spend time with you. If no one else on earth remembers you, this Christmas, remember that Jesus has not forgotten. He is calling you and has come to lead you to come and follow someone who will always remember your name!
This morning we are heading out the door for a long overdue family visit and my posts will be few and far between till New Year. Today I am posting a classic from a few years ago that is also contained in this year’s book, The Christmas Star. Thank you to all who have followed, encouraged, commented on and even corrected me along the way! Since I like to add another favorite carol I hope you enjoy this rendition of O Holy Night from The Annie Moses Band. Blessings all!
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:7-8 KJV
Did you ever stop to wonder who came up with the idea of gift wrapping? Why do we bother with ribbons and bows? Isn’t it the gift itself that people want? Maybe it comes down to wanting our gift to be a surprise. So why would it be a strange thing that God came to us in gift wrapping? No one could see who Jesus was while wrapped in swaddling cloths. So, God sent angels to wake up shepherds to tell everyone about what was wrapped in that first Christmas gift!
And just as we wrap every gift, differently, because they are for different people, so Jesus came, for every one of us individually. Some of us receive your presents on Christmas Eve and others on Christmas morning. But no matter the day, it is that gift wrapping which makes us wait for the right time to open them. And so, on one incredibly special night in Bethlehem; at exactly the right moment, Jesus came as God in gift-wrapping, and we have been opening God’s gift of love in Christ ever since!
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