Receiving God’s Christmas Love

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16-17 ESV

The last few weeks have been a blur of events and emotions. Our California trip to attend my wife’s sister’s funeral and then 5 Christmas Services at different long-term care facilities have all blurred together in my mind. Last night we settled down to watch White Christmas (20 times and counting!) and slowed down enough to catch our collective breathes. We will not see family but are grateful that we have children and grandchildren to miss. We have each other, a few friends and a quiet life. How different our experience is from Mary and Joseph on a chilly night in Bethlehem.

The stable was dark and dank. There was no soft bed for Mary to lie on, no nurse or even mid-wife to attend. When the baby came, Joseph tried his best to find a place to lay him, but a feeding trough was all he found. There in that cold dark place the love of God was born as a fragile child, wrapped in rough cloth and laid in a hay bin. That Holy Night reminds me of another cold dark day, thirty-three years later when God’s love was poured out again. This time on a rough wooden cross, with blood streaming down from His hands and feet Jesus gave Himself for us. Now anyone willing to come as a child can find forgiveness and receive His gift of love (Eternal Life). May God bless you and watch over you in this Holiday season. Jesus still comes and God’s love is still being poured out. What we need are the eyes of children to see Him and receive His gift today! My song video this week features Away in a Manger. Have a blessed week all!

Our 2020 Christmas Village

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

No room at the inn when Jesus was born and in 2020 there will be no visitors in the no nursing home. No place for our Savior’s birth, so how appropriate it was because of the virus to have our Christmas service outdoors at the fountain at Sunshine Christian Village. Just to be clear, these were not the residents of the long term care facility, but rather of the surrounding senior apartments. It was actually a beautiful day (We prayed for no rain) and a safe way to sing some carols; hear the story of Christmas again and pray for one another. Of course we are all happy to hear about the vaccine but as we wait we must still live in today and do what we can to lift up the name of Jesus. I hope you will be encouraged and blessed to find ways to reach out to the long term care facilities in your own community. We are still praying that we can have them open the doors next week on the porch so we could stand outside and sing while they are inside listening.

Wise Men Shepherds and Children

When the wise men left their homes they were following a star seeking a new born king. Little did they know that all along their journey He was seeking them. This second Sunday of the Christmas season songs are a medley of Away in a Manger and Amazing Grace along with The First Noel. May God help us all to find the one who is seeking our hearts!

God Turned and Chose
When long ago the inn was full
On that dark first Christmas Night
God turned and chose the manger bed
To shine His brightest Light

God Turned and Chose by Peter Caligiuri  2020 all rights reserved
reproduction or publication by permission only