Christmas Peace

“Progress always involves risk; you can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.”~~Frederick Wilcox

Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is gambol, “to skip about, as in dancing or playing; frolic.”

Today is Saint Nicholas Day. Most people, I think, are aware that St. Nicholas was a real person. He is believed to have died on this date, but the year is uncertain. I have seen 343 AD, 345 AD, and 354 AD.

We were hustling and bustling all day, yesterday. we left the house, probably in the neighborhood of 10:30, and didn’t get home until almost 7:00 PM! But we got a lot accomplished. And we had a pretty darned good time doing it! We got Christmas decorations at Pier One, drinks at Sonic (always a necessity), Christmas gifts galore at Target, and finally did our grocery shopping last. After we dropped off the groceries at Christi’s mom’s place, we stopped at Taco Bell for dinner.

This morning, we have our worship service at The Exchange Church, at 10:15 AM. We meet at the Northpark YMCA, at 9100 N. Beach St, in Fort Worth, 76244.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Daily Guideposts 2015)

I don’t normally do this, but I liked today’s Guideposts reading so much that I want to quote the whole reading. It’s the second Sunday in Advent, and Mark Collins gives us a great reading about Christmas peace.

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Isaiah 7:14

“There’s a radio station in Pittsburgh that starts playing Christmas songs in November, and when you add those on to the Christmas songs you hear on the elevator and Christmas department store music and every other Christmas commercial, you can really start getting resentful and angry instead of hopeful and excited.

“Plus the ‘special sale’ they had on Black Friday wasn’t all that special, and why had I thought Sandee would like a pair of those earrings when she has a pair just like them. But the real problem is I don’t know what to get her, and I never do because gifts are a second-rate substitute to show how I really feel but can’t always express.

“And don’t get me started on the kids. They’re older now, so I don’t know what to give them other than money. And then I start thinking about the money spent at Christmas and feel even more resentful, and start wondering like I do every year why we have Christmas at all, slowly withdrawing into my own self-made lonely exile.

“This might explain why my truck is pulled over on the shoulder because I might be crying a little listening to the Heinz Chapel Choir sing, ‘O come, O come Emmanuel/and ransom captive Israel,’ and thinking maybe Israel isn’t the only one who could use redeeming this season.

Lord, unlike You, my anger is always swift and often unjust. Let me know peace this season – the peace that passeth all understanding.

Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!
For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
Psalm 107:8-9

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 1:7-14

Father, like Mark Collins, I sometimes get caught up in the hustle and bustle of Christmastime, and forget the real reason for it. This year seems to be different, so far. I’m excited about the season. I’m enjoying hearing the Christmas songs, even the ones I heard before Thanksgiving. I pray for myself, along with all of my brothers and sisters in Christ, that we would have a renewed sense of joy and peace this Christmas. We celebrate the birth of our Savior, even though we know it probably didn’t happen at this time, and even though we are never told in Scripture to do so. May this be a most joyful and peaceful time of year for us as we remember you coming to earth in the form of a baby human. And, as we celebrate the birth, we also pray,

Come, Lord Jesus!!

Grace and peace, friends.

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