David said as he prayed, sang and acknowledged God, “I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your unfailing love and faithfulness. Psalm 40: 10
As we celebrate the season of Advent with great longings in our hearts of awaiting, expectation, anticipation, and preparation as we bring the knowledge of the Virgin Birth of Jesus in December each year to the world. We so long and look for and expect His second coming to earth. There is a yearning, not just in December but all year as we long for deliverance from the evils of the world.
David also said in verse nine, “God, I have told all your people about your justice. I have not been afraid to speak out, as you, O Lord, well know.”
I hope and pray our hearts are leaping and jumping and rejoicing in the Advent of Jesus Christ and our freedom and ability to tell the whole world through internet, nativities in our yards and inside our homes as well as a dance around the promise Tree with songs of praise!
“Christ, whose glory fills the skies
Come, thou long expected Jesus
Hark! The voice eternal
Hosanna to the living Lord
Let all mortal flesh keep silent
Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates
Lift up your heads, rejoice
O Come, Divine Messiah
O come, O come, Emmanuel!
The advent of our King
The day is surely drawing near
The King shall come when morning dawns
The Lord will come and not be slow
Thy kingdom come, O God
Watchman, tell us of the night”
As I read and sang the titles of many Advent songs (listed above) I began to once again join my heart with the psalmist in Psalm 41 and sing and long with great emotions, “As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God…”
And, I want to say with David, “I have not keep this good news hidden in my heart…” No, I haven’t because I wanted to share it with you and I did! Hope you will be a light on the Promise Tree and light those around you with Hope from the Prince of Peace and His faithful promises to all that will believe! Jesus Christ is the King we long for and we await His promised return!
15 thoughts on “Christmas ’09”
I reread the account in Luke 2: 1-20 and it is amazing to know how Jesus left his throne and became flesh, for all mankind. I heard on the radio today that our nation has celebrated Christmas, since about 1870. I thank God we can celebrate the birth of our Savior everyday, but especially at Christmas.
I agree Needles with your amazement and heaven must have as well, Luke records, …”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
And, as some would like to believe, we can’t celebrate Christmas as a non- religious holiday because it is about Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Paul asked the question? “What if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?”(Romans 3:3, KJV) And, the answer came, ” Of course not! Even if everyone else is a liar, God is true.” vs. 4
Needles you mentioned you heard American has been celebrating Christmas since about 1870, click here and sing an old hymn celebrating Christmas….
I listened & hummed along with the Watchman Hymn. One thing that suprised and pleased me was what I heard on the news this morning. that In a poll taken recently, the favorite holiday song mostly mentioned for the season is O HOLY NIGHT. White Christmas was second but O HOLY NIGHT was first.
A part of the song sings: “Fall on your knees.
Oh hear the angel voices.
Oh night, divine.
OH NIGHT WHEN CHRIST WAS BORN.
Oh night divine, oh night…oh night divine
Thank you Sara for writing about a Promise Tree. As I thought on The Promise Tree that Sara named above, it created much expectency because that’s what promises do.
The tree has such significance throughout history and in our lives. I see in Genesis 2:9 that God placed the Tree of Life in the garden of Eden and the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil which Adam and Eve were forbidden to touch. But touch and eat ofit of it they did and so through this disobedience sin entered the whole human race. Adam and Eve were driven from their beautiful home and God placed cherubim with a flaming sword to guard the way to the tree of life. (Gen 3:24)
It was a tree, an old rugged wooden cross, that held Jesus and the Promise of eternal Life and union once again with God. But this tree was one man can touch, embrace and cling to. And as we do, we receive the Promise.
So when I look at a Christmas tree I do see many promises. An evergreen tree promises everlasting Life with God through our Savior. A tree flocked with white snow promises that though our sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow. (Isaiah 1:18) A tree with lights promises that He alone is the light of the world to light our paths of darkness, confusion, depression or disappointment. (I John 1:5) Leaves of the tree promise healing for the nations (Rev 22:2). And even evergreen trees produce cone fruit with seeds, a promise that the fruit of the Spirit will develop in our lives as we embrace His Promise Tree and that seed will be planted into others’ lives that they also will come to see, understand and trust in the Promise Tree.
Thanks for sharing that hymn, Sara. I enjoyed listening.
Debi…Excellent tree tools for telling the story we never fail to desire to hear. Sadly, I have watched and participated with Christian families sitting around Christmas Trees, eating and indulging in gift giving, which is very good as well, but have not the ability to share the Promise Tree story. Or, have great ability to share but have not the least interest or maybe it is energy!
What is a gift without the GIFT! What is a savior, healer without The Savior of the World and The Healer of all our diseases? What is talk of peace without the Prince of Peace? What is with us without Immanuel?
I have a little buddy, named Noah, and I love talking with him or even hearing his message on my answering machine. Why? Because his words, reflection in his telling and his being tells me the story of Christ. Noah is is authentic. And, Jesus is the real deal. I want the real, the authentic not the counterfeit. Thanks to all for sharing Christmas here with me and many others. Sure has been disappointing in the stores and malls with No Christ. No manager, or even Angels but we sure share Him here and this makes our Christmas aglow with Joy to The World!
In reading Debi’s fine exposition on ‘the tree’ I thought of the Olive Tree and what the psalmist said about it…that we are like green olive trees planted in the house of the Lord. The Olive tree and its oil, I read, is significant of charity, giving and outreach. Sounds like what happens especially at Christmas time. And as Debi says, the tree is reminiscent of Jesus’ cross so does the olive tree remind me of Christmas, like the Christmas Tree, too. Not in the pagan sense but in the spiritual and holy sense. In Hosea it says,
“His branches shall spread, and His honor shall be as the olive-tree, and His smell as of Lebanon (Hosea 14:6)”
And it is said of the church that is to be planted, whose honor is the olive-tree, that is, the good of love and of charity….. being the affection of the truth of faith, in Zechariah.
To quote Joyce Kilmer…” Only God can make a tree.”
Many are suffering deeply from financial crisis in their lives and families. Layoffs, cutback of hours and businesses not having much business. Others having sickness, family members at war and in war zones. Many others grieving from the lose of a loved one. The list of life’s struggles are as long as a child’s Santa list for so many. This makes the message of Jesus ring out with Hope and Peace in the midst of the storm when shared from heart to heart.
Our blog scripture from David, ” I have talked about your (God’s) faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly of your (God’s) unfailing love and faithfulness.” Psalm 40: 10 We all can give the gift of listening, sharing and caring. We can model the attribute of David by talking about the faithfulness and saving power of God. Christmas can be rewarding when today’s Christians join in with the great company of witnesses such as David, Paul and Peter and John and talk about God’s faithfulness, even, in this dark hour of history.
Isaiah, the prophet wrote, “For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.”
“Geneva Study Bible notes: Signifying, that all men are in darkness till God gives them the light of his Spirit, and that this light shines to no one, but to those that are in his Church.”
Within minutes of my writing the above in the am, my husband called to tell me about a co-worker and his family struggles. The co-worker had to leave work to attend to the crisis and my husband said, “my wife and I will pray for you and family” among other comforting words. He was so grateful for the hope he was given by Gary.
When my husband called I read him the words I had just posted on comment above and agreed to say a prayer of faith building, hope and peace for this family. This confirms over and over how important it is to talk about God’s faithfulness and saving power. This family needs both.
Yes, the needs of people are so great all around us. Almost every day I hear of a different one. Reading the above comments and this blog is a real support group and helps understand how to reach out and ‘give the gift of listening, sharing and caring’ that Sara writes about.
Over and over God is showing us and we are witnessing the weakness of the flesh to overcome the slings and arrows of the material world. There is only one HOPE, the great Hope and Assurance that comes with with faith in Jesus Christ, which Christ Himself. NOW is our chance, as Sara shows above, to let the whole world know that there is a Hope and we can help. The Chrismas story is not just and touching tale or fable. If we are truly celebratory in our knowing the Christ Child in the Spirit, then we must tell them. We must preach it. Paul says, “woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel !” That is Gospel truth in many ways. Woe, to those who have not heard and do not know, and woe to us who have heard and know if we do not share the love of God with the hurting and those in need of spiritual support and salvation. Let’s make it a truly merry CHRIST-mas for someone else who has missed the CHRIST in CHRIST-mas.
Thanks MG for the above, it reminded me of a recent conversation, in my car. I was riding down the road, with young boys, in the back seat. They were discussing Christmas, and were wondering why we pronounce “Christmas” like “Chris – mas”? In other words, the boys were discussing how Christmas was about Christ’s birth, and yet we don’t pronounce it, “Christ – mas.” I thought it was an interesting thought?
Very observant of your young men. Bless their perceptive little souls. They sound like a strategic links in the project to put CHRIST back in CHRIST-mas.
Sara wrote, “We so long and look for and expect His second coming to earth. There is a yearning, not just in December but all year as we long for deliverance from the evils of the world.”
To yearn and think on and focus on the Hope of His coming can produce a change in us as we diligently allow Him to train us for eternal living with Him in His kingdom and on earth now.
“What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see him—and in seeing him, become like him. All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus’ life as a model for our own.” I John 3:2-3 Message