Daily Devotion for December 25, 2011
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Angels We Have Heard on High, performed by the Robert Show Chorale
Prayer for the Morning
Lord, teach me to number my days aright, that I may gain wisdom of heart.
Help me do today the things that matter, not to waste the time I have.
The moments I have are precious, Lord, see that I count them dear. Teach me to number my days aright. Fill me this day with your kindness, that I may be glad and rejoice all the days of my life. Through Christ I pray,
Prayer for Christmas
Loving Father, Help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and worship of the wise men.
Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.
May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children, and Christmas night bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake.
(written by Robert Louis Stevenson)
Now unto him that is able to keep me from falling, and to present me faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
Luke 2:8-20 (NKJV)
The Shepherds and the Angels
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"
So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us." And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.
Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
The magic of Christmas that we felt as children sometimes becomes lost as we get older. Society has abandoned so much of the actual meaning of Christmas, and turned it into a time of Santa Claus and mall bedlam, that the sustainable magic cannot last, because we celebrate a fairy tale instead of the real miracle that occurred 2000 years ago.
But this is a time to celebrate a miracle; for a baby boy was born in Israel whose existence would make God's grace available to everyone who would simply believe in him. This is the promise of Christmas that will never get old and will never disappoint us. Why have we so replaced a true miracle, the birth of a real person, with a silly make-believe man in a red suit? Because so many people believe in consumer items than in Christ, and those of us who hold the truth to our hearts have been swept along.
If we keep the truth of Christmas in our hearts and minds, we will never be disappointed or lose the sense of miracle that Christmas brings. We celebrate the birth of Christ and the promise he brings. Deep winter is the time of despair, as are our lives when things become most difficult. But Christmas reminds us that our salvation will come; it is a promise that our difficulties, like the cold of winter, will be forgotten and that spring will arrive if we only give it time. Let us always remember the certainty of our hope, for God remembers His promises and will make them come to pass, in time.