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 …

As with Gladness Men of Old

There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. Revelation 22:5 The lights appear at one house, then another, and another. Certain houses or neighborhoods are so spectacularly lit that people go …

It Came upon the Midnight Clear

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:13-14 (NLT) Peace on earth. The angels’ message has echoed through the centuries, yet its fulfillment has eluded us. Conflicts between nations, religions, and ethnicities …