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It’s the most wonderful time of the YEAR!
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Luke 1:30-33 ESV
I love this time of the year, but to be honest if I am not careful I can get sucked into the glimmering and shimmering lights of the holidays. Distraction is a big pull this time of the year. Think about those words the angel spoke to Mary, “don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” Wow, now think about that… An angel appears and speaks words of comfort to her and words of great challenge to her as she was going to bear a son, not only a son, but the Son of God. Mary was living her life, minding her own business, getting ready to be wed to Joseph, her promised husband. The news from the angel could be devastating to her. How was this to be, she asked the angel since she was a virgin?
Well, the angel had that information for her as well. As I contemplate the Christmas story this year, I notice to that after Jesus was born, the Scriptures tell us that Mary wrapped Jesus in swaddling cloths (I have to admit, I do not know what this is) and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them. A barn, a outside shelter for animals in a bed of straw. Is this not sad? When we read this, we can get all indignant and say, “how could that happen?” It is kind of coaching a sporting event from your couch (which by the I do a lot of when my team isn’t doing well). We are just like those in the days of Jesus’ birth often. We have “no room” in our hearts for him because of the glittering lights and holiday bustle.
This time of the year, is the most wonderful time of the year. I have made room in my heart for Him this year. There are many things that can and do distract me from my focus on the LORD, but this year, I want to hear the message like I have never heard the message before. If I am too busy, I just may miss what the angel will say to me. Have a great week and have a very, merry Christmas.
I want to close by penning the words to my favorite Christmas hymn, O holy night.
Oh Holy Night
Oh holy night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming
Here come the wise men from Orient land
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all our trials born to be our friend
Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name
Today’s Freedom Fighter was written by Doug Barger, Director of Men’s Ministries at Bethesda Mission
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3