'christmas' Tagged Posts

'christmas' Tagged Posts

Daily Devotions

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him.” vs. 10 John 1:10-14 According to the church’s calendar we’re about half-way through the twelve day Christmas season, but from a cultural perspective everyone is pretty much done celebrating. Some have already taken down their decorations and the few who have live trees are probably wondering if they can haul them out to the curb for trash pick-up. It’s been…

Daily Devotions

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” vs. 14 John 1:1-14 Christmas Day There was just something about Jesus! It wasn’t that he had magic powers or was more handsome than anyone else. From the little we know, he was probably quite ordinary, hardly distinguishable from any other Galilean. But some saw something in him–a passion that guided his…

Daily Devotions

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.” vs. 8 Luke 2:8-14 Christmas Eve Tonight there will be worship services at the Shepherd’s Fields, just outside of Bethlehem. The crowds will be small–Israel’s borders remain closed to foreign visitors. But worshippers will be there, huddled outside against the chill on a dark hillside with the lights of Jewish settlements just across the valley. Aside from a small beautifully adorned modern chapel,…

Daily Devotions

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” vs. 7 Luke 2:1-7 This verse paints a heartbreaking scene, and we know it well–it’s the centerpiece of every Sunday School Christmas program and nearly every home has at least one nativity packed away for seasonal display. Luke crafted the story with purpose–he wants his readers to know that…

Daily Devotions

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly…” vss. 11-12 Titus 2:11-14 This little letter, likely composed sometime in the late first century, provides a picture of the Nativity that we could well take to heart as we put the final touches on our Christmas preparations. It’s been a long Advent, and the ongoing concerns…

Daily Devotions

And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” vs. 45 Luke 1:43-45 Elizabeth speaks from experience. In the first of Luke’s nativity stories she had been the heroine. Even though her husband Zechariah doubted, in her old age she had conceived and was very pregnant when Mary showed up at her doorstep. The story as Luke tells it is touching. Two women, one very old and one…

Daily Devotions

Psalm 29 “May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!” vs. 11 The psalmist had no doubt about the sovereignty of God, and believed that every part of creation reflected the power and majesty of its creator. Earthquakes, winds, thunder, and lightning were all a part of the earth’s posturing before the Almighty One–and as one caught up in the turmoil and messiness of it all, he cried out, “May the Lord…

Daily Devotions

Genesis 1:1-5 “Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.” vs. 3 According to the ancient Hebrews, all creation was spoken into existence by God in the beginning, and the first of those words was, “Lights!” And it makes sense! Any movie director knows that nothing can happen on the set until proper lighting is in place, hence the phrase, “Lights, camera, action!” What’s interesting though, is that this light had nothing to do with the sun.…

Daily Devotions

John 1:15-18 “No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.” vs. 18 Through the centuries humans have been told that the study of religions will lead them to an understanding of God. And so we have done our work. We’ve dug into holy scriptures, listened to learned teachers, and probed deep into the intricacies of the world’s religions–and for the most part the search…

Daily Devotions

John 1:10-14 “But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.” vss. 12-13 John the Gospel writer seems to be saying here that people are not the children of God unless they have received Jesus, that only after believing in him do they truly receive the power to…

Daily Devotions

Ephesians 1:11-14 “In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit…” vs. 13 For many believers these words are linked to the Rite of Baptism as practiced by some of our congregations. After the washing with water and the laying on of hands, the officiant proclaims, “__________, child of God, you have been sealed with the Holy…

Daily Devotions

Ephesians 1:3-10 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.” vss. 3-4 The writer of Ephesians knew that the story of the Christ did not begin with Jesus, but in the very origins of the universe. And that’s where our story…