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As the calendar turns over today and we enter the month of December, my mind and heart turns toward what is for me, “The Season of Joy & Rejoicing.”
Of course I love all the trimmings of Christmas, the holiday music, the cool weather, and the strong scent of pine in my living room after our tree goes up. I love the time we set aside to spend together with families and friends. I love visiting our local holiday displays and sometimes (not often!) even love the hustle and bustle of the local shopping center. But while each of those wonderful activities can bring a temporary happiness, the lasting JOY of Christmas is in its message that God made a way for me to make Peace with him through the birth, life, death and resurrection of his dear son, Jesus.
Often people outside of our faith portray us a joyless, dour, grouchy, and self-righteous people. But in my experience the most selfless, kind, helpful and lastingly joyful people I know are those who are people of faith. I looked up two words in my PC Study Bible today, the words were “Joy” and “Rejoicing.” I found 426 references to Joy and 263 to Rejoicing. The more important something is to God, the more often He speaks about it in His word. Explore some of the scriptures about these two words and you will find that God strongly desires for you to have a joyful life. The joy I find in the Christmas season is at its greatest when I set time aside to rejoice that Christ my Savior was born.
If you haven’t started the craziness yet, or if you’re already feeling the slide towards being out of control (if you just spent Thanksgiving weekend shopping in the chaos), take a moment to reflect on where you are finding true joy in your life and take time to thank God for that joy. Make plans to create meaningful celebrations. And perhaps spend a little time each day reading and meditating on the Christmas story, which I will have posted here starting tomorrow through Christmas.
Luke 2:10-12 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” NIV
Rom 5:1-5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. NIV
PRAYER: Lord, I know how easily I can get carried away with the preparations, planning, spending and activities of this season. In fact, I have often finished the holidays exhausted and let down. Please help me to keep my focus fully on you and on the meaning of Christmas. Show me ways to make it more special and memorable for my family and friends. Keep my heart at peace even when the activities can be chaotic.
Thank you Lord, for coming to this earth to be born a man, bear the burden of living a human life free from sin and becoming the sacrifice that was required to pay for my sins. That is a gift too priceless for words. I love you, Lord. AMEN
The third commentor on this post LINK TO POST HERE which is really funny, because she was the one who was reminding me that today would be the first of the month! I also am going to give a bonus award to DebD who is in the hospital facing some pretty tough circumstances with her COPD. We love you Deb and are praying for a speedy recovery.
Each of these winners probably own most of my kits, so I will give them their choice of kit in this store. Merry Christmas!