The message of Christmas isn’t meant to be put away with the decorations. It’s a truth that is meant to be shared every chance we get. In fact, the amazing gift of love God gave us works best when we pass it forward!
“I truly believe that if we keep telling the Christmas story, singing the Christmas songs, and living the Christmas spirit, we can bring joy and happiness and peace to this world.”
Norman Vincent Peale
“And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.”
1 John 3:23-24
“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
It’s easy to let a post-Christmas lull take over. Resting after the flurry of the holiday definitely feels good, and helps us recharge. But we have much more to do in the new year! So let’s take time to savor the joy and hope of the holiday – they will “fuel” our hearts to press on in God’s work.
“May we not ‘spend’ Christmas or ‘observe’ Christmas, but rather ‘keep’ it.”
“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirshaving the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.”
This song has a special place in my heart. Graham Kendrick wrote a moving song showing us Jesus’ mother Mary’s point of view of the Nativity story and beyond. It speaks to both my heart as a mother, and to my spirit as a believer.
Okay, one more musical moment to share. It’s also by Graham Kendrick, and invites us to join in sharing the Good News of our Savior’s birth:
I pray you find moments of reflection and celebration this Christmas – God loves you so much! Blessings, Heather
Hello to all! One of the ways I communicate is through music. I love finding just the right song or piece to go with a celebration. So, this week, I want to share some of my favorite Christmas songs with you. I pray they will bless your heart.
This first song is called “Born in Bethlehem,” a little gem given to us by the group Third Day.
Why did Jesus come to Earth in human form? The answers to that question remind me how much we are truly loved by God.
Why? So that He could empathize with us and become our true High Priest. So that He could teach mankind how to live in a way we could better understand. So that we could see God “in the flesh.” So that our hope in God would be renewed. The list goes on and on…
I hope you are catching a little of the blessings I feel this time of year. And if we want to, we can carry this feeling through the year, sharing it with others as we go.
I wish you all a comforting and joyful Christmas! Heather
“Into this world, this demented inn in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ comes uninvited.”
“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him,the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”
In the midst of this season’s busyness, I like to take moments here and there to think about when Jesus was born. I imagine what that quiet night was like, as if a hush had fallen on the world. And then, the noise of a baby giving out it’s first cry, and soon the angels’ joyful praises filling the sky. I picture Mary holding her newborn, in the stable, thrilled and yet wondering what was to come. It is a wonderful weaving together of humanity and divinity that always leaves me humbled.
“So God throws open the door of this world—and enters as a baby. As the most vulnerable imaginable. Because He wants unimaginable intimacy with you. What religion ever had a god that wanted such intimacy with us that He came with such vulnerability to us? What God ever came so tender we could touch Him? So fragile that we could break Him? So vulnerable that His bare, beating heart could be hurt? Only the One who loves you to death.” –
“But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.“
If this crazy year of 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that love has the power to connect us. And, we have God’s love within our hearts. In the simplest of ways, we can have a special impact on the people around us, and those far beyond our physical reach. So let’s think of ways we can make those loving connections, so this Christmas season can be even more meaningful.
“At this Christmas, when Christ comes, will He find a warm heart? Mark the season of Advent by loving and serving the others with God’s own love and concern.”
“…by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
As my faith has grown, Advent season has become more important to me. I used to see it as just a build-up to Christmas Day. It is definitely a time of anticipation, but we aren’t meant to simply push through it. Taking the time to savor the hope and love that God poured down on us through the gift of His Son makes this season so much sweeter.
”The word advent means ‘expectation.’ What advent can do for us is create a sense of hope.”
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.”
“And again, Isaiah says, ‘The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.’ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
This year has challenged us in so many ways, hasn’t it? And honestly, I wish I had handled some of the trials a little better. But I keep coming back to the truth that my God is so much bigger than ANY problem – and He is working on my behalf. All of us who believe in Christ have this promise. So really, our biggest challenge in times like this is to choose to rest in Him.
If God be our God, He will give us peace in trouble. When there is a storm without, He will make peace within. The world can create trouble in peace, but God can create peace in trouble.
“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”