We thank Thee, O God, for the return of the wondrous spell of this Christmas season that brings its own sweet joy into our jaded and troubled hearts. Forbid it, Lord, that we should celebrate without understanding what we celebrate, or, like our counterparts so long ago, fail to see the star or to hear the song of glorious promise. As our hearts yield to the spirit of Christmas, may we discover that it is Thy Holy Spirit who comes- not a sentiment, but a power- to remind us of the only way by which there may be peace on the earth and good will among men. May we not spend Christmas, but keep it, that we may be kept in its hope, through Him who emptied Himself in coming to us that we might be filled with peace and joy in returning to God. ~ Peter Marshall ~
Immense in mercy and with an incredible love, He embraced us. Ephesians 2:4 (MSG)
This day we celebrate a new beginning, a time
of new birth for an old way of living. Christ
came to bring a New Way to this world, weary
and lost. Today, we remember and celebrate
the simple and innocent way He came to us.
We long to find the simple way, to find You
in ordinary places, in everyday faces. Help
us to put away our old way of living, complicated
by excess baggage and unnecessary burdens
we often carry around with us. Teach us a
New Way of living, restored and replenished,
redeemed and refined.
Show us beauty in the new and simple; show us
joy in the Light and Love! Take us now, this very
day, as we lay down our old way of living and offer
ourselves as living stones for You.
Holy, Holy, Holy LORD, GOD of power and might,
Heaven and earth are full of Your Glory. Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD. Hosanna in the highest.
The magnificent abundance You give our souls
exceeds all expectations! With unexplainable
acceptance of Your mysterious ways, we praise
your Holiness! For we shall tell of You and
Your Ways; tell how beauty-full You are! For
Your Glory, we shall tell this God-story, the one
You are writing on our hearts and lives.
I'm singing at the top of my lungs, I'm so full of
answered prayers.* Your vows are binding
upon me, O God; I will render thank offerings
to You.** A thousand Hallelujahs, my ex voto. Amen! ~dho
* Psalm 13:6 The Message
** Psalm 56:12 NASB
The Latin 'ex voto' literally means "from the vow". An 'ex voto' is an offering made in fulfillment of a vow or promise.