Right Side Up – A Christmas Prayer

nativity

Lord Jesus, so many contradictions describe You and Your life on earth. Even with the things You said, and especially with the things You did, it seems You turned everything up-side-down. It was all so unexpected.

But maybe, Lord, You were really turning things right side up again. Putting things back the way they should have been all along.

Lord, the humble life You lived was the life You also called us to … to be servants of others, to give, to touch, the comfort. To love.

***

Excerpted from Ian Christopher’s Finding Christ in the Carols, inspired by lyrics from well-known Christmas Carols, available this month for only $2.99 on Amazon.

Advertisements

Come and Worship – a Christmas Devotional

The shepherds were the first who bid others to “Come and see.” Scriptures says that “they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child” (Luke 2:17).

And ever since then, it has been the sacred and joyful task to share the same message, especially at Christmas.

“O Come, little children.”

“O Come, one and all.”

The gift of a God and a Son. Christ, the Lord, in a manger. Born in a stable, to speak words of truth and grace. Adored by shepherds, to climb a lonely hill beneath a rugged cross. A birth sung by angels. A death watched by those same angels, now hushed, as He cries, “It is finished.”

Come, little children. Come all, to see the One with scars on His hands and feet, in His side, yet risen. Risen.

Come and see. Come and worship.

***

Excerpted from Finding Christ in the Carols, by Ian Christopher, available for only $2.99 on Amazon.

The Glory of God – A Christmas Thought

The glory of God. It seems a difficult thing to desire, much less imagine, in this workaday world.

But still, it shines. It shines on quiet winter nights and it shines on midsummer mornings. It shines throughout the Christmas season. It can cast a glow within our souls because glory shone when God entered our world. Nothing was the same again.

***

This reading is an excerpt of Ian Christopher’s devotional Finding Christ in the Carols, inspired by lyrics from well-known Christmas Carols. Available for only $2.99 on Amazon, Finding Christ in the Carols will help you find moments of personal devotion and reflection during the busy holiday season.

Redeeming Grace – A Christmas Devotional

An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth. Fairness. Justice. Judgment. It was the name of the game, and it makes perfect sense. Even small children have that innate sense of fairness. If little sister gets a chocolate chip cookie, big brother wants a cookie too. It should be fair. If it’s not, someone needs to fix things so that justice will reign once more. In the household of young children, this is when the child will often call, “Mom,” because they need someone to arbitrate, to determine what is fair.

In the “adult world,” we do it too. We see this desire for justice often enough in the hundreds of lawsuits and court cases that rise in every city, town, or district. Justice must be served. We might never end up sitting across the court from someone, but we do it in own minds just as well, don’t we? We assess a situation and render judgment in our own minds. He was wrong. I am right.

Fairness. Justice. Judgment. An eye for an eye.

But who judges those secret thoughts we think? Who listens to every word we speak in anger? Who knows our hearts and souls, our decisions and mistakes, our shortcomings and anger better than we know it ourselves?

God, the righteous and holy one.

With the first act of sin in the Garden of Eden, a rift was cast between humanity and a Holy God who could not abide in the presence of sin.

First, judgment and justice had to be served.

And it was, with the dawn of redeeming grace. With the birth of Jesus, the greatest sacrifice was set in action. The life of a “spotless Lamb” to atone for the sins of humanity.

Redeeming grace. Instead of an eye for an eye, we receive forgiveness. Instead of a tooth for a tooth, we are granted mercy. Instead of an eternity separated from God, we are welcomed into His presence.

***

This reading is an excerpt of a devotional from Finding Christ in the Carols, by author Ian Christopher, inspired by lyrics from well-known Christmas Carols. Available for only $2.99 on Amazon, Finding Christ in the Carols will help you find moments of personal devotion and reflection during the busy holiday season.

 

Photo by Tom Lin :3= on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

O Come Emmanuel – A Christmas Devotional

The world had been darkened by the shadow of sin, and laid in fearful darkness for so long that none remembered what it was like to walk in the light.

“O come,” cried the faithful. “O come,” cried the lost. We are captive to our own desires. Slaves to our own shortcomings. In bondage to our own iniquity.

And He came. Emmanuel. A name that means “God with us.”

He ransomed not only Israel, but the world. Every nation. Every people group. Language, belief system, history – none of it mattered.

God came in the cloak of flesh to keep the promises He had made. For it was not only Israel in exile. It was every last member of a fallen humanity. All had fallen prey to the scourge of sin.  So He came for all.

God came in the cloak of flesh to keep the promises He had made. For it was not only Israel in exile. It was every last member of a fallen humanity. All had fallen prey to the scourge of sin.  So He came for all.

Emmanuel. God with us. God for us.

***

This reading is an excerpt of Ian Christopher’s devotional, Finding Christ in the Carols, inspired by lyrics from well-known Christmas Carols. Available as an e-book on Amazon, Finding Christ in the Carols will help you find moments of personal devotion and reflection during the busy holiday season.

Songs and quotes to inspire

Tolle Lege

Take up and read!

Praying for the millennials

A Guide to Praying for the Next Generation

Jewel Rose Reviews

Mother & daughter reading team

Author Zoo

A place writers can go to find everything from a to z about the writing life

The Road

Psalm 39:12: “Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.”