The month of February is usually thought of as the love month. I have no deep words to share today. Just my special love wish for you…
Are you finished with your Christmas shopping? No? Me neither.
For those on your list, what might give to…
These quote contains some very special gift suggestions. How you ever given these?
“Christmas gift suggestions: to your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.” (Oren Arnold)
But we give gifts to everyone but the One whose birthday we celebrate.
My favorite Christmas movie, possibly my favorite of all time, is The Bishop’s Wife (and no, NOT The Preacher’s Wife). Dudley is an angel (played by Cary Grant), who comes to earth to visit the household of Bishop Henry Brougham (played by David Niven), his wife Julia (played by Loretta Young), and their young daughter in answer to the bishop’s prayer for guidance.
(If you’ve never seen it, watch for it. If you get channel AMC, it will air Sunday, 12/18, at 1:15 a.m. EST. You can check your time. Don’t miss it. Record it!)
The end of the movie culminates on Christmas Eve at midnight with Henry delivering the sermon he believes he has written, though Dudley is actually the one who has penned it.
It goes like this…
“Tonight, I want to tell you the story of an empty stocking.
Once upon a midnight clear, there was a child’s cry, a blazing star hung over a stable, and wise men came with birthday gifts.
We haven’t forgotten that night down the centuries; we celebrate it with stars on the Christmas trees, with the sound of bells, and with gifts. But especially with gifts.
You give me a book; I give you a tie. Aunt Martha has always wanted an orange squeezer, and Uncle Henry could do with a new pipe.
Oh, we forget nobody, adult or child. All the stockings are filled, all, that is, except one. And we have even forgotten to hang it up: the stocking for the child born in a manger. It’s His birthday we’re celebrating. Don’t let us ever forget that.
Let us ask ourselves what He would wish for most and then, let each put in his share: lovingkindness, warm hearts, and a stretched-out hand of tolerance. All the shining gifts make peace on earth.”
The Father shared of Himself and sent His Son into the world.
The Lord gave of His heart; what gift of your heart do you give Christ this year?
Do you bring sacrificial gifts to the Christ-child out of your heart’s treasury? Gifts like the purity of holiness? The costly fragrance of continual prayer? A cleansed soul, preserved from eternal death?
Do you offer Him your heart as His manger, as an empty vessel for His resting place? Or is it full of jealousy, envy, hatred, unforgiveness, self-pity, lust, anger, or prejudice?
Do you leave Him no room to “lay down His sweet head”? Have you said, “Sorry, there is no room for You in this inn”?
Give the Babe of the manger the lodging place He deserves. Give Him the gift of your heart.
May your Christmas be blessed with a special touch of the Lord’s presence. (Christmas Gift of the Heart)
Within the story of Naomi and Ruth is this portion I wrote in my book (as yet to be published, if ever). Since we are entering the season of Advent, I pray this may bless you and dwell deep within your hearts.
It all started with Naomi in the little town of Bethlehem. Biblical names have always held great significance, so, to understand where Naomi lived, we first need to look at Bethlehem’s description.
Bethlehem’s original name was Ephratah (meaning fruitfulness or fruitful land) and was sometimes used in the shortened version as Ephrath. Located about five to six miles south of Jerusalem (meaning possession of peace, foundation of peace, or teaching of peace), Bethlehem is nestled in the district of Judah (meaning praise).
Tucked in among the fertile hills of this land of praise lay this quiet, little village. Later, a shepherd boy would pasture his father’s flocks in these fields and sing them the praises of his God. Much later, heavenly songs of praise would ascend above the fields, filling the atmosphere with angelic voices, welcoming the Redeemer of the world born here.
This little village became known as Bethlehem-Ephratah and eventually became Bethlehem (meaning house of bread).
Do you see anything in all that? If not, look again. As the lineage of Christ came through the bloodline of Judah, the land of praise birthed “the Bread of God” (John 6:33 AMPC) from heaven. The House of Bread dwelt in the fruitful land of praise!
Life depended upon the harvests of the grains, which depended upon the rains. As the sustenance of life, bread was, in a sense, considered sacred, as a gift of God through His benevolence to allow the rain and the harvests. It remained a daily reminder of man’s unbroken dependence upon God for His provision, evidenced in the prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matt. 6:11 NKJV)
Our spiritual food, as the Living Bread, rests in the midst of the field of our praise. “Lord, give us this bread always.” (John 6:34 NKJV)
In this celebration season of Christ’s birth, as our schedules multiple, let us take time to remember where it all started. In God’s House. In His heart of love. And sent us His Son, the Living One, the Living Bread, to dwell in our midst. Our Immanuel. God with us. Our Daily Bread forever.
May you find that Living Bread in the midst of your praise!
“And when they came near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples on ahead, saying to them, ‘Go into the village that is opposite you, and at once you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie [them] and bring [them] to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall reply, The Lord needs them, and he will let them go without delay.’
“This happened that what was spoken by the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, ‘Say to the Daughter of Zion [inhabitants of Jerusalem], “Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey [a beast of burden].”’
“Then the disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and laid their coats upon them, and He seated Himself on them [the clothing].
“And most of the crowd kept spreading their garments on the road, and others kept cutting branches from the trees and scattering them on the road.
“And the crowds that went ahead of Him and those that followed Him kept shouting, ‘Hosanna (O be propitious, graciously inclined) to the Son of David, [the Messiah]! Blessed (praised, glorified) is He Who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna (O be favorably disposed) in the highest [heaven]!’
“And when He entered Jerusalem, all the city became agitated and [trembling with excitement] said, ‘Who is This?’” (Matt. 21:1-10 AMPC)
He was born in an obscure village
The child of a peasant woman
He grew up in another obscure village
Where he worked in a carpenter shop
Until he was thirty when public opinion turned against him
He never wrote a book
He never held an office
He never went to college
He never visited a big city
He never travelled more than two hundred miles
From the place where he was born
He did none of the things
Usually associated with greatness
He had no credentials but himself
He was only thirty three
His friends ran away
One of them denied him
He was turned over to his enemies
And went through the mockery of a trial
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves
While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing
The only property he had on earth
When he was dead
He was laid in a borrowed grave
Through the pity of a friend
Nineteen centuries have come and gone
And today Jesus is the central figure of the human race
And the leader of mankind’s progress
All the armies that have ever marched
All the navies that have ever sailed
All the parliaments that have ever sat
All the kings that ever reigned put together
Have not affected the life of mankind on earth
As powerfully as that one solitary life
Dr. James Allan Francis
“And the crowds replied, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee.’” (Matt. 21:11 AMPC)
“Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey.” (Zech. 9:9 NKJV)
Today, it is my pleasure to bring you a post by David Bergsland, the author of the new book The Wife of Jesus: No, It’s Not Mary Magdalene. That means you and me! We are His Bride, as Paul told the Corinthian church, “I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ.” (2 Cor. 11:2 NLT)
To be His bride, we must be presentable in Christ’s presence. However, only His robe of betrothal, His robe of righteousness, can make us presentable, that we might be “prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” (Rev. 21:2 NIV)
As “the king’s daughter is all glorious within” (Ps. 45:13a Masoretic Text), the Bride is the beauty in the eye of the Beholder. And on that precious wedding day, she will be adorned outwardly with great beauty, for “she shall be led to the King in embroidered work” (Ps. 45:15a MT), in a robe of white, bedecked with all Her jewels, the bridle girdle around her waist, covered with a full-length veil, and a garland as a crown upon her head.
And they will be Bride and Groom…betrothed in covenant…a covenant of blood.
This topic is very near and dear to my heart, as the book I’ve written is about the Bride of Christ. Unfortunately, it’s sitting on the shelf for now.
If we are to be Jesus’ Bride, why are we not acting more like a betrothed woman? One of the richest ways to describe our relationship with Jesus is as His betrothed. We are engaged to be married to the perfect Husband. Just as Jesus is the second Adam, restoring mankind’s relationship with the Father, we are the second Eve, the divinely given helpmate for our Husband.
Many are not aware of the marriage language used by Jesus in the Gospels, such as, “I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, you may be also.” (John 14:2b-3 MEV)
This was normal betrothal language. The groom went to prepare a place for the bride to live. He wasn’t allowed to go back and get his wife until he got his father’s permission. He “didn’t know the day or the hour,” only the father knew.
That day is coming soon when we who know Him will be married to our Husband. What a wonderful day that will be! It’s almost beyond comprehension to contemplate what our relationship with Him will be in the New Jerusalem.
However, we are still here, on a sin-damaged planet, living in a world system controlled by our enemy.
How do we get past that?
What can we do in a practical way to realize the joy and wonder of living in the Kingdom of the Messiah here and now? How can we come to know our Betrothed intimately?
That’s what my new book discusses, Biblically. You’ll learn how to make the Lord Jesus a constant presence in your life, day in and day out. You can experience the joys of intimacy with the King of kings and Lord of lords.
It’s what He desires, and the reason you were created. Enter into the wonder of His presence!
“I love this book! If you are looking to have a more intimate relationship with the Lord this is the book for you. It is not a book you just read once, but one you will need to read over and over again to soak up all the knowledge in it. It is practical and applicable, a book that every believer needs.
“No, Mary Magdalene is not Jesus’ wife, but we, who call ourselves the church, are and it is time we get to know our Husband. We must go beyond the honeymoon stage and get into this thing we call marriage.” [by deb on Goodreads]
The Wife of Jesus: No, It’s Not Mary Magdalene
Available at Amazon and most everywhere online in print and ebook.
Places to connect with David…
[Redemptive Christian Book Review blog]
Hackberry Font Foundry
[Being absorbed into The Skilled Workman]
She sat down in the back row. Aching. Her heart aching from too many negative events in her life. Her body still aching from a recent illness. Her feet aching from standing all day, serving too many hamburgers.
Still dressed in her work uniform and smelling like hamburgers, Grace came to her church’s midweek service, not having time to go home and change.
The preacher went to the pulpit and said, “You probably noticed that I didn’t give out the topic of my sermon for tonight. I did that on purpose. I didn’t want you to stay away.”
What? All the members looked puzzled.
“I want us to prepare our hearts for something special tonight.” The preacher then called for the deacons to bring out bowls of water and towels.
A soft moan swept across the sanctuary.
“I want us to think of the days of Jesus and how guests were welcomed into a home. Dust from walking the dirt roads stuck to one’s sandaled feet. Mud or animal deposits might be stepped in as well. So, to welcome guests into their master’s home, servants took water and a towel to cleanse the dirt from the feet of guests.
“When Jesus and the disciples finished the last supper they would share together, Jesus took a towel and a basin of water and began to wash the feet of the disciples.
“What was His attitude as He kneeled before them? Self-renunciation, humility, love, submission. This was a doulos attitude. Doulos is the Greek word for a bondservant, a slave whether voluntary or involuntary, the highest form of self-renunciation.
“Jesus told the disciples that their attitude was to be like His, for He did not come to be served but to serve.
“It does not matter the condition of your feet today, whether you have on holey socks or your feet smell from the day’s work. It takes a servant’s heart to kneel before another, to humble himself or herself.”
After praying, the preacher softly asked, “Do the sins of others smell to you? Are there holes in their hearts? Are their souls, s-o-u-l-s, worn out just as their soles, s-o-l-e-s, may be? There is no judgment here tonight; only humble service of one to another.
“I want you to consider this: Will you have this humble spirit and attitude as you submit to the service of the one next to you and offer your service to another?”
Grace’s first reaction was to recoil: I can’t take my shoes off in front of these people! And I don’t want to wash someone else’s stinky feet! Jolting her out of her thoughts was the sound of shoes dropping throughout the sanctuary.
Members lowered to their knees, taking turns to wash the feet of the one next to them, treating them as a guest in the house of their Master.
Though some pulled away just as Peter pulled away from Jesus, others complied to the washing, as they wiped away the tears streaming down their faces.
Finally submitting, Grace bent down on her knees to wash her neighbor’s feet.
As she left that night, she, too, had tears stinging her cheeks, for her heart had changed, just as others had. All left the service with a servant’s heart, a doulos spirit…with humility. As grace on its knees.
~Do we have a willing, humble doulos attitude, one that will…
*kneel before others with a servant’s heart to serve them?
*not judge the smell of their sins?
*uplift the distress of their worn out souls?
*comfort the pain of the holes in their hearts?
*help them cleanse the dirt accumulated from their path of life?
Jesus said, “I am among you as one who serves…I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you…If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” (Luke 22:27b NLT, John 13:15, 17 NKJV)
What humble “foot washing” service can we provide for the guests in the Master’s house? May we take up the towel of service to others with a humble doulos spirit…
“Each man is to take a lamb for his family, one lamb to a house. If the family is too small for a lamb, then share it with a close neighbor.” Ex. 12:3b-4a Msg
When God initiated the first Passover, He unleashed the last plague on Egypt as the Death Angel. To protect His people from the destruction, He instructed each family to take a spotless lamb, “a male of the first year” (Ex. 12:5 NKJV), into their home.
(Interestingly, the word first here means son as the builder of the family name. It also means one’s immediate physical male offspring or animal offspring and is most often translated son.)
Following God’s instructions, after killing the lamb, they were to save the blood in a basin, then God commanded them, “Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning.” (Ex. 12:22a NIV)
Safe, protected by the blood, as God said the smearing of the blood would be a sign for Him to pass over that dwelling, as a sign of salvation from death to life.
Then came the new covenant. The shed blood from a different kind of lamb, “the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1 Peter 1:19 NKJV)
Jesus said, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins…Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life.” (Matt. 26:28 NIV, John 5:24a NKJV)
This blood of the Lamb is to be smeared on the entrance to our heart’s home.
And that precious, spilled blood is our salvation from death to life. Anyone who believes in Him “will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24b NIV) Our Eternal Passover.
“If the household be too little for the lamb…” (Ex. 12:4 KJV) Let’s turn that around.
Is our Lamb big enough to share?
If we have taken this Lamb into our heart’s home, are we guilty of selfishly hoarding His salvation? A. B. Simpson said that “we have no right to claim the purchase of the Savior’s blood for ourselves alone, and that we are guilty of selfishness, dishonesty and base ingratitude if we can be content to be saved without having done everything in our power to give our fellow men an equal opportunity of eternal life. Have we understood this? Have we lived this?”
Hmmm…have I? Do I keep Him to myself? Who is my neighbor that I might share this blemish-free Lamb with him or her? Who crosses my path in my daily walk? Do I claim that precious purchase of salvation merely for myself, or do I share Him and He is thus multiplied just as Jesus fed the five thousand plus?
Or is my Lamb too little?
Paul wrote, “He died for all.” (2 Cor. 5:15 NKJV) Exodus 12:3 in the Modern Language version says, “One lamb for each home.” One Lamb for all.
Therefore, take the First and Only Son, as the builder of the family name, into your house, your heart. Take the whole Lamb, the whole Christ, the whole salvation. Take His blood; smear it on the lintels of your heart for eternal security. One Lamb to keep us protected, to feed upon…and share with others.
Is your Lamb too little? Or is He big enough to share?
Prayer is a conversation with the God of the universe. Wow! Isn’t that an awesome thought? I think we sometimes forget how wonderful that truly is.
And what a privilege it is. A communing with the Lord of lords and King of kings. Hearing His whispers into our very souls. For guidance, comfort, discipline, encouragement, strength, joy, and all the other things He desires to give us. It is a dialogue, a discourse.
Prayer is not an “open-says-me” list of requests or formulas. We somehow formulate an opinion that there must be some recipe or blueprint to follow. Prayer does not have a formula. However, there are certain conditions to consider if we desire to pray correctly. And receive the answers we need.
One day, when the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples” (Luke 11:1b NKJV), He said to them…
“In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
(Matt. 6:9-13 NKJV)
Along with this model prayer, Scripture advises us to get away and be alone with God, even closing the door to our room/closet (Matt. 6:6), to not be like the hypocrites (v5), to not be repetitious (v7), and to forgive others, otherwise we are not forgiven (v14-15).
The Bible also tells us to pray 1) to the Father, 2) in Jesus’ Name, 3) in faith, believing we receive, 4) according to His Word, His will, and His promises, 5) in boldness, 6) in expectancy, 7) in patience, 8) with the Holy Spirit’s help, 9) until we have peace, and 10) with praise and thanksgiving.
1) To the Father…as Jesus taught the disciples.
2) In Jesus’ name…He also told the disciples, “The truth is, you can go directly to the Father and ask Him, and He will grant your request because you use My name…If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 16:23 NLT, John 14:14 NKJV)
3) In faith, believing we receive…Jesus told the disciples, “Therefore I say to you, All things, whatever you ask, praying, believe that you will receive, and it will be to you.” (Mark 11:24 RGT)
Spurgeon said, “Prayer cannot draw down answers from God’s throne except it be the earnest prayer of the man who believes.”
4) According to His Word and His will…The above verse is not selfish name-it-and-claim-it; it is having faith to ask in accordance to God’s Word and will.
There is a boundary to prayer; it is God’s will and His Word. Jesus said, “If you make yourselves at home with Me and My words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon.” (John 15:7 Msg)
Therefore, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15 NIV)
***Join me next time for the rest of the story! May all your prayers be offered in Jesus’ Name, in faith, believing you have received, and according to God’s Word and His will, so that you receive all His best YES answers!
As tradition has it, around the year 1500, Martin Luther put the first lights on a tree. One clear, cold Christmas Eve, while Luther walked in the woods nearby, composing a sermon, he was awestruck by the brilliance of the evergreens as the moonlight shimmered on the snow-covered branches.
To recapture the resplendent sight, he set up a tree in his home to share his experience with his children. Decorating it with candles, he lighted it in honor of Christ’s birth.
I have come to be just as awestruck at the sight of our tree as Luther was at his and desire to have his same attitude. And for this reason, Tree has become very special to me. Though an artificial object, his beauty represents something much deeper.
Every year after Thanksgiving, we bring Tree up from his long respite in the basement, and we place him in his designated place of honor in our family room. He always seems nude and embarrassed until we, er, uh-hum, I dress him.
Taking his garb from the boxes in storage, I begin to play dress-up. First, I tuck in small dolls and bears close to his trunk, which are barely visible, yet resting securely upon his limbs.
Then, I hang the ornaments, ones that sparkle, are old-fashioned, or made of glass, while others are wooden. Interlaced with snowflakes, bows, white lace angels, stick stars, candles, candy canes, and tiny white lights are others either I or our kids have made, someone has generously given us, or belonged to my mother.
Baby’s breath fills in the gaps and peeks out from among the branches. A red plaid piece of fabric loosely drapes around Tree’s feet, along with the “ancient” crèche, the one I played with for hours when I was very young, arranging and re-arranging Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the wise men, and all the animals.
Encircling Tree is a beautiful plaid ribbon for his garland, and his crowning glory is one special angel: that’s Harold, you know.
When all decked out in his finery, he stands proud, overwhelming the corner of the room. He appears stationed only as a backdrop for the ornaments he displays. He is content to hold them up, to give them the safety of resting on his branches. He seems at peace and oblivious to the blowing snow and chilling winds outside his comfy surroundings.
When the ornament boxes are empty and Tree is laden to capacity, he seems to heave a sigh of relief, as if complete for the season. Beautified and glorious. Abiding in the present. His back to the past. His face to the hope of a better new year.
Sometimes at night, I turn off all the lights in the room except Tree’s lights, and those on the mantle. I sit and stare at Tree’s breath-taking radiance.
As I sit in the glow of the tiny lights, I envision Tree to be, as Isaiah says, that Branch of the Lord, which “shall be beautiful and glorious.” I imagine Jesus standing in the corner, tall and majestic, overflowing the room with His presence. I can almost smell that marvelous fragrance of costly frankincense and myrrh brought at Jesus’ birth.
I picture the ornaments, dolls, and bears as all the beautiful jewels of royal fashioning, the souls that decorate the Lord in different positions of closeness to Him. While some snuggle up next to Him, others perch in varying positions on His limbs, some in close, some out on the fringe. Christ’s sigh of completion comes only when each of His ornaments is in its rightful place.
I visualize the baby’s breath as the restorative breath of God, filling in all the gaps of life. The lights symbolize the light of Christ coming into the world and illuminating the objects of His love hanging around Him.
The garland of plaid ribbon depicts the adornment of the Holy Spirit, wrapping around the body of Christ, holding us all together. Sprinkled in among the ornaments sit more angels, reminding me that He gives His angels charge over me, to keep me in all my ways.
Then, there is Harold, the angel sitting atop it all, always looking toward the New Year. No matter what has happened in the year drawing its last breath, he seems to point to the peace of a better future.
As I sit in the dark, I bask in the warmth and love our Tree gives me, whether there are presents at his feet or not. I smile in acknowledgement of his beauty and he seems to smile back at me, as if to say, “It’s okay. Next year will be better. I will live in your heart, for I am evergreen.” And that speaks to me of eternal life.
It reminds me of Scripture, “I am living and strong! I look after you and care for you. I am like an evergreen tree, yielding my fruit to you throughout the year. My mercies never fail.” (Hosea 14:8 TLB)
This year, I wish each of you a Tree of your own, a Tree of remembrance. May you stand as Christ, your back be to the contrary circumstances of the year behind, your feet firmly planted in the present, and your heart guarded with the hope of a better new year. May you snuggle up close to the Lord, causing a smile on His face that you are in your rightful place.
May you be filled with peace, joy, and comfort. I wish you a most blessed Christmas.
***I’m sorry this was rather long this time. I couldn’t seem to shorten it.
She stared out the window of the cheap motel room. For now, it was all she could afford on her disability check after new owners threw her out of her apartment.
A flurry of snow blew sideways outside the window. She shivered. Heat struggled to escape the pipes, causing her to tug at the sweater she had retrieved from the trash bin.
The tracks she had made earlier in the snow as she walked back from the corner mart were now covered. From the pan on the hot plate arose the aroma of hot chocolate, transforming the stagnant air in the room to something a little homier.
Alone. Her husband left her for someone else. The weight of her failing relationship with her daughter punctured her heart, as if a scalpel had ripped open her flesh and spilled out her life’s blood onto the tattered and grimy carpet.
Many did not care to help, and those who did care could only help a little, while others just weren’t able to give her the financial help she needed.
Her eyes pooled with tears. Though normally upbeat and thankful in all things, she now felt just as worn out as the old sweater wrapped around her.
Christmas! Bah! Humbug! she thought. Christmas, this year, would be non-existent for her.
As she stared out the window at the lone street light on the corner, glowing in the night through the blasting snowfall, her thoughts drifted off to another time and another place. Back to a time when, as a missionary in another land, she was invited to dinner by a family living in a small, rundown hut.
The dirty carpet beneath her feet reminded her of their dirt floor; the streetlight glowing in the night reminded her of the only light in their hut, a small candle half burned away.
In her mind, she could see the kids running around the hut happily playing chase; she could hear their laughter. She also recalled the father and mother joyously praising God for all they had. She remembered their love and tenderness as they shared a meager meal with her. A slight smile began to replace her frown.
Her feelings of self-pity and discouragement felt like hot liquid draining from her heart, running down her legs and right out her toes, while grace and love spilled back into her from heaven’s lap, coursing through her veins.
Forgive me, Father, she sighed.
The meaning of Christmas flooded her soul. She imagined another cold night with a bright light, the night Mary gave birth to Jesus and a glowing star lit the way to His presence.
She remembered the Reason for the Season…Love. The Love of God. Love came down in a pink earth-suit, bringing new birth with Him.
Staring at the streetlight and the falling snow, she started to hum. As tears streamed down her face, a smile gently spread across her face and the words to the song tumbled out…
Silent night, Holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at thy birth,
Jesus, Lord at thy birth.
Mumbling “the dawn of redeeming grace,” she lay down on the old mattress, grateful for a warm place to stay. Praying for a better tomorrow and vowing to help another less fortunate than she on Christmas day, she fell asleep.
~Depressing, huh? Not everyone will have a merry Christmas. This happens all across the world. With differing circumstances. Know anyone like this? I do. Though I’m not able to help her financially right now, I pray for her every day…many times. And I know the Lord will bless her mightily for her faith.
But Christmas is still a joyous time; no matter what is going on around us. It is a time of giving. The birth of Love. If you know the true Reason for the Season, be sure to pass on this Love to others. All. Year. Long.
That’s what Jesus came for. That’s what He died for. Love!
May there be a glowing star in your dark night to light the way to His presence, and may you have a Love-filled, Redeeming-Grace-filled, and Joy-filled Christmas!
***Hope you don’t mind a Christmas rerun from 2013.