Christmas Past and Future

A Heavenly Family Celebration Then the angel said to [John], “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” (Revelation 19:9) The youngest of four children, I lived with my parents long after my older siblings left home for college, careers, and homes of their own. But they all returned for Christmas. Each year I looked …

O Holy Night

Hope for a Weary World “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:34-35 As soon as I hear the …

Extend the Joy of Christmas

What Did You Expect? When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” Matthew 11:2-3 Did Christmas disappoint you? Did your loved ones neglect to give you the present you wanted? Did squabbling siblings get …

God’s Christmas Message

A Christmas Card from God? “For I am a great king,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.” Malachi 1:14 Bills, advertisements, and credit card offers—the contents of my mailbox on most days. But during December, I receive the welcomed addition of cards and newsy letters from friends and family. Their updates let …

Christmas Joy

Restore the Joy of Christmas “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. Luke 1:38 Feeling overwhelmed by all you need to do before Christmas Day? Is it even possible to have a busy yet peaceful Christmas season—to move from hectic and stressful to calm and joyful? Yes … if we follow Mary’s example. She could have characterized the days leading …

Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne

For this is what the high and exalted One says— he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite. Isaiah 57:15 Some congregations today omit hymns …

Infant Holy, Infant Lowly

And the angel told Joseph, “The child within [Mary] was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21 (NLT) The birth of a child is a holy moment. As the word holy suggests, it’s a sacred event, set apart …