The most wonderful time of the year

It is once again the Christmas season. The Christmas season full of songs, trees, presents, family, movies, eggnog, and all that. As the song says, maybe truly so, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. I’m all for all that. My wife has a yearly struggle with me to keep the ‘Christmas all that’ under wraps until Thanksgiving is officially over. She’s some sort of Thanksgiving purist or something. Now that Thanksgiving is over, we are into the ‘Christmas all that.’ But in the middle of all that, let’s not lose our soul.

So, more appropriately, this season is Advent. The focus, the daily thinking, the heart moved to worship…Immanuel, God with us. The heavens did rend, God did come down (Isaiah 64), just not as they thought. God, the Word, broke into this world, broke into darkness and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory (John 1:14). The lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world has come (John 1:29). A baby, born in a stable of sorts, placed in a manger. The wonder of parents, angels, shepherds, and Magi to come. The King, the Lord of Lords. The Messiah. A cross in his future.

So let’s focus, in the middle of ‘Christmas all that’, let’s meditate on words and phrases found in some of the scriptures about the birth of Jesus. What do they mean to you? What do they move in your heart? What do they tell us about the most wonderful time of the year? Of course, there is a lot more, but below is a little sampling…read the passage, then take time, real time, throughout the days of the season to meditate on some of the highlights of each passage.

Read Isaiah 9:1-7.
no more gloom
a great light
increased their joy
shattered the yoke that burdens them
For to us a child is born
the government will be on his shoulders
Wonderful Counselor
Mighty God
Everlasting Father
Prince of Peace

Read Matthew 1:18-25
conceived from the Holy Spirit
the name Jesus
he will save his people from their sins
the virgin will be with child
they will call him Immanuel -which means “God with us”

Read Luke 2:1-20
good news of great joy
for all the people
a Savior has been born to you
he is Christ the Lord
Glory to God in the highest
on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests
glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen

Let’s enjoy the Christmas season. Sing the songs, hang the lights, shop till you drop, hug your family, and drink too much eggnog. But let’s have our hearts set on Advent. Let’s be moved in wonder and awe, joy and gladness- the good news has come!

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