Tag Archives: Christmas thoughts

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.

Advertisements

The Long Winter – A Christmas Prayer

Christmas Quote

Lord, the winter sometimes seems to last so long. The winter outside my door, yes, and the winter in my heart. Sorrow seeks to overwhelm me. The loss I’ve faced makes me feel as though nothing will ever make me smile again. There is a coldness in my heart that I feel I can’t shake.

Let Your love bring my heart to life again. It might be painful, I know, when a frostbitten heart is warmed by the power of Your light. But I would rather a living, beating heart, even if it feels pain, than a heart of stone. – Ian Christopher

***

This reading is an excerpt of a devotional from Finding Christ in the Carols, a devotional 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.

Warming the Heart – A Christmas Devotional

warming the heart at Christmas

What is your favorite season? If you are like many others, your choice will not be winter. Most people opt for the other three seasons. The new life of spring. The sun and fun of summer. The brisk feeling of autumn, when leaves transform the landscape from green to hues of red and gold.

But winter? It’s cold. It’s dreary. Christmas seems the only positive thing about it, and once Christmas is over, it’s cold and dreary again.

But it doesn’t have to be.

Cold, yes. Seasons change and winter brings freezing climates, snow in some locations, and a general gray feeling. Before the sun is high in the sky, it is setting again and the temperature is dropping once more. We cannot avoid the physical cold.

But the heart can be warm. Dreariness does not have to settle over us like a pall of gray lasting all season.

Why do people set up Christmas trees in their house at Christmastime? “Because everyone else does.” There is that, but there is another reason. Why are evergreens a traditional symbol of the holidays? In places where winter is the coldest and it lasts the longest, evergreens were a reminder of the new life that was coming, though hidden beneath snow and ice.

We all need those reminders. Of new life. Of hope. Of warmth when ‘tis cold and drear. Next time you look at your Christmas tree, or glimpse an evergreen outside your window, take a moment to remember that the cycle of life always continues. Rebirth and renewal course through the veins after a season of sorrow and even death.

It happens in the world around us, and it can happen inside us. When we stop and consider – not the evergreen tree or the coming of spring, but the birth of a baby boy who brought new life to all people.

Jesus is the greatest promise of undying life, hope eternal, and love that never fades.

***

This reading is an excerpt of a devotional from Finding Christ in the Carols by Ian Christopher, a devotional 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.

The Greatest Gift of All – A Christmas Devotional Prayer

Heavenly Father, my life is full of so many words. Sometimes I feel I am bombarded by them. On billboards. On my computer screen. In books and on tablets. In the newspapers and running along the bottom of my TV screen. So many words. So many messages, often conflicting.

But Your Son was not just a word. He is the Word.

And one Christmas, He was willing to be made flesh, so that we on earth could behold His glory. His glory so much more than a Word. His presence, full of grace and truth.

Let the Word of God, let Christ the Lord become real in my heart today, Father.

No matter what gifts come and go this Christmas – or any other Christmas – let me remember the greatest gift of all. When He pleads, let me answer with my heart. And with my life.

***

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.

What Child is This? – A Christmas Devotional

The message that the silent Word pled, He pleads today. To sinners. To Christians. One and the same. To the searching. And the found. So often one and the same.

He pleads for us to find Him, the greatest gift of all.

“What child is this? … This is Christ, the King.”

“The King of kings salvation brings.”

He brings salvation to every heart that embraces this King who was once cradled as a baby. This King “whom shepherds guard and angels sing.”

“What child is this?” the song asks. A worthy question. The world has a right to know. Why the Word, why God, beheld the sky He created through the dim eyes of a newborn, cradled in the embrace of a virgin mother. She held in her arms the greatest mystery the world had never known.

***

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.

Bright and Morning Star – A Christmastime Prayer

Lord, help me to follow You today, even if at times it makes about as much sense as following a star.

Let me never fear to seek for You, and to seek after more of You, knowing that You draw near to those who draw nigh to You.

You were called the Bright and Morning Star.

Be my star on the nights that are dark and lonely and cold.

***

This reading is an excerpt of a devotional from Finding Christ in the Carols, a devotional 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.

“The Name of Jesus” by Mel Lawrenz

Sometimes a name is just a name, and sometimes a name captures someone perfectly. The ancients inclined to choose names carefully, so as to make a lifelong statement about a person’s identity. “Jesus” is a name so familiar to us today that we easily forget it was a name with extraordinary significance. The name an angel announced should be given to Mary and Joseph’s new child. And what a name! “Jesus” means “the Lord saves.”

He does indeed.

“Call him Jesus,” the angel said, “because he will save his people from their sins.” None of us can save ourselves anymore than a person sinking in a rowboat can save himself by pulling up on the side of the boat. We need a savior, and not just a theoretical savior, but one who really has the power of God to separate us from the tyranny and the guilt of sin.
But there wouldn’t have been a saving sacrifice if there hadn’t been an incarnation. Bethlehem was the start of the mission. We don’t need to wait until Good Friday and Easter Sunday to celebrate the Savior. The saving started at the birth of Jesus.

Mary and Joseph could not have understood all of this, of course. They were obedient and named the newborn Jesus, “the Lord saves,” but how and when the Lord would save them was still a mystery to them. Not so for us. This side of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, we know the extent of the saving love of God.

Prayer for today:

Lord, make me more aware of my sins today and help me know that they shrink before the powerful person of Jesus.

 

Mel Lawrenz is minister at large for Elmbrook Church and the author of Prayers for Our LivesSpiritual Leadership Today, and more.