As we inch ever closer to Christmas,
we are reminded that the point of all our preparations is
to worship our Savior,
who was born to die for us.
Many have suggested that Christmas has nothing to do with death,
but without the death and resurrection of Jesus,
we are left with nothing;
May the JOY of the Advent season fill our lives
so much so,
that Jesus radiates from us
and therefore brings You glory.
In Jesus name I pray,
Loving Father, You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die and rise for us that we would have forgiveness of sins and thus the hope of the resurrection. And now we wait excitedly and patiently for Jesus’ return; knowing that at any moment the trumpet will blast, and our Savior will ride in triumphantly, and bring us into the great wedding feast. May we not be found wanting when he returns, but also, may we not be quiet until then. Therefore, may our preparations also include announcing to all that Jesus WILL return. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
In John chapter 11, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. He hears that Lazarus is sick and then waits four days. Had he left earlier, Jesus could have prevented Lazarus from dying, but Jesus waits that God may be glorified. Upon arriving, Jesus meets Martha and then Mary ~ “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Upon asking where they have laid him, they say, “Come and see”. At this we have one of the most famous verses in the Bible, probably because of it’s brevity.
Question: Why did Jesus weep?
Jesus is the Son of God
Jesus can raise the dead
Jesus seemed to know that his delay would end in the dead of Lazarus
Jesus knows what he can do
So, why did Jesus weep?
I contend that Jesus is not weeping over the death of Lazarus but rather over the hopeless weeping that the others are doing. Do Mary and Martha not know Jesus well enough to know that he can raise Lazarus?
So Jesus raises Lazarus. He walks out of the tomb and he tells the people to unbind him. Word then begins to spread, much to the chagrin of the religious leaders. When you see people in hopeless despair, how do you show them Jesus? How do you show them that there is hope? How do you help people move from tears of despair to tears of Joy?
Father God, may the song of my praise reverberate throughout my being and into all those around me. May my words about You reveal my deep love for You. May my actions reflect a faith that points to You. May people know the joy of Your love through Christ Jesus my Lord. And as people receive the Good News of Jesus, may the cares of this world melt into oblivion as we bask in the hope of the resurrection. This is my prayer and hope as I being a new day. All praise and glory and worship and honor be unto You, oh God, through Christ Jesus my Lord. Amen.
Fellowship with family and friends
What are you waiting for?
What are you anticipating?
Why are you excited?
What is causing your joy?
What and why are you celebrating?
Why are you in fellowship?
Who/what do you worship?
The answers to the above questions vary for some. For some Christmas is about the wrong answers. For some Christmas is about the wrong reasons. For some Christmas is about worshiping false gods. For some Christmas is nothing more than a holiday for which you get time off from work or school.
Christmas is about Jesus; born for you, who later died for you, and then rose from the dead for you. Christmas is about hope, peace, love and joy. Without Jesus, Christmas is not Christmas.
Unless you live under a rock, you know that tomorrow is Thanksgiving. A day of over-eating with relatives (some of whom may drive you crazy), watching a parade with lame commentary and trying to stay awake for the football games. It’s a grand ole holiday that ushers in the unofficial start of the Christmas season (even though Christmas decorations and commercials started a while ago).
None of this is new information for you.
For me, this holiday is the unofficial start of my Christmas ranting; one where I lament how commercialized Christmas has become, but I will spare you the ranting rhetoric this year and simply refer you to the Word of God. As you gather with family and friends, let’s keep things in perspective and remember the reason we can truly be thankful.
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. 2 Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. 3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; 4 to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever; 5 to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever; 6 to him who spread out the earth above the waters, for his steadfast love endures forever; 7 to him who made the great lights, for his steadfast love endures forever; 8 the sun to rule over the day, for his steadfast love endures forever; 9 the moon and stars to rule over the night, for his steadfast love endures forever;
And the list goes on and on. Give thanks to the Lord for Jesus Christ and the hope of the resurrection we have through faith in him. Give thanks to the Lord for He is good for His steadfast loves endues forever and ever and ever and ever and…