Merry Christmas to all! We are near the completion of our Advent observance. I pray the focused time on the coming of Christ and all the lessons of Advent inspired greater sensitivity and awareness of the real Christmas miracle. God came to mankind in human form. Hallelujah!
Today, along with the two purple candles and one pink candle, we light another purple candle. This candle is the Candle of Love or the Angel Candle, to represent the love and presence of Jesus. Here are some meditation scriptures for the presence of God among us (Celebrating Holidays).
Let’s worship Jesus with gratitude for His birth. His great love for us expressed through His coming — the Advent — to be with us. A relationship was His goal…we were His targets. All of us. How we embrace and acknowledge the Advent determines how we accept trial, discern His work in our daily lives, and grow in understanding of His sacrifice and finished work on our behalf.
Jesus is born! This is not some far away concept. This is the truth. He is near to us. When we need Him, we do not have to fall prey to the lies our feelings and some circumstances tell us. Advent touches our hearts and reminds us that HE CAME FOR US. He came and is coming.
As we continue to celebrate family and time off work (many of us!), let our rest be in the presence and love of the Christ child. In His birth is the work of faith for our redemption, our freedom, and the hope of an abundant life through Him. Here is my favorite Christmas song (this year, at least) — O Come, O Come Emmanuel written by John Neal in 1851. Emphasis added.
1 O come, O come, Immanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.
2 O come, O Wisdom from on high,
who ordered all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show
and teach us in its ways to go. Refrain
3 O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe. Refrain
4 O come, O Branch of Jesse’s stem,
unto your own and rescue them!
From depths of hell your people save,
and give them victory o’er the grave. Refrain
5 O come, O Key of David, come
and open wide our heavenly home.
Make safe for us the heavenward road
and bar the way to death’s abode. Refrain
6 O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
and bring us comfort from afar!
Dispel the shadows of the night
and turn our darkness into light. Refrain
7 O come, O King of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid all our sad divisions cease
and be yourself our King of Peace. Refrain
Merry Christmas, Beloved. May our abiding hope be in the presence of Jesus the Christ.
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