Nativity of the Lord – Proper II (December 24, 2010)
Isaiah 62:6-12; Psalm 97; Titus 3:4-7; Luke 2:1-20
6 O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls;
they will pray day and night, continually.
Take no rest, all you who pray to the Lord.
7 Give the Lord no rest until he completes his work,
until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth.
8 The Lord has sworn to Jerusalem by his own strength:
“I will never again hand you over to your enemies.
Never again will foreign warriors come
and take away your grain and new wine.
9 You raised the grain, and you will eat it,
praising the Lord.
Within the courtyards of the Temple,
you yourselves will drink the wine you have pressed.”
10 Go out through the gates!
Prepare the highway for my people to return!
Smooth out the road; pull out the boulders;
raise a flag for all the nations to see.
11 The Lord has sent this message to every land:
“Tell the people of Israel,
‘Look, your Savior is coming.
See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.’”
12 They will be called “The Holy People”
and “The People Redeemed by the Lord.”
And Jerusalem will be known as “The Desirable Place”
and “The City No Longer Forsaken.”
Pam and I haven’t really mentioned much about Christmas this year. Not that I haven’t wanted to, but it has been a little busy, despite trying to protect ourselves from that.
Today I was reminded that it is our tenth year anniversary of a tradition that started in 2000. That was the year we had a flood one week before Christmas. That year we went to McDonald’s for lunch on Christmas Eve. I’m really not so sure now how it began. But I think it probably had to do with me working retail. This afternoon for lunch we went to McDonald’s and I remembered that this was the tenth year anniversary of this.
Another tradition we have is Shepherd’s Pie for dinner and then church. I love Christmas Eve at church. It is a real reminder of what this season is all about. That’s why we have traditions. They remind us of why we celebrate. Merry Christmas!
READINGS FOR THE COMING WEEK
Nativity of the Lord – Proper I (December 24, 2010)
Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-20
2 The people who walk in darkness
will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
a light will shine.
3 You will enlarge the nation of Israel,
and its people will rejoice.
They will rejoice before you
as people rejoice at the harvest
and like warriors dividing the plunder.
4 For you will break the yoke of their slavery
and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders.
You will break the oppressor’s rod,
just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian.
5 The boots of the warrior
and the uniforms bloodstained by war
will all be burned.
They will be fuel for the fire.
6 For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His government and its peace
will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen!
This advent season the families in our church have been raising money for a Birthday Present for Jesus. We have been working through an Advent calendars that Dale and I found in a book a couple years ago. We have done it at every church where we have been pastors. The money is for Bethlehem Stables at Hephzibah Ministries in Macon, GA. The Advent Calendar is designed to make us aware of how blessed we are in the United States. Each day there are instructions on what to do on that day. Somedays it was to reach out to people in our communities. Other days we had to go around our home and find how many of an item (doors, windows, beds, etc.) we have in our home and then give money (a penny or quarters) for each of the items we have our home. Each time Dale and I have done this Advent calendar, we are amazed how blessed we are.
This reminds me of Deuteronomy 8, where the children of Israel were getting ready to go into the Promised Land. God reminds them of everything he has done during their trip through the wildness. Then He tells them that when they go into the Promised Land, they need to remember that everything that they have received, they received by the grace of God. They were warned that if they forget that, God will destroy them like He did the other nations which were around them.
We are so blessed here in the United States. Even the poorest of the poor are richer than most of the rest of the world. We have forgotten that God has blessed us over and over again. Perhaps instead of God bless America, America should bless God and remember all the good things He has given us.
The weather has finally given us a break and at run time it was a balmy 38 degrees 🙂 I say balmy, because that is about as warm as it has been for almost two weeks. The last time I was out for a run was on the 10th of December. I wanted to complete 3 miles, so that I could begin ramping up my mileage again. Yes, I am optimistic. 3.1 miles took 34:21 or an 11:04 mile pace. Pam and I are hoping to get a walk in tomorrow and I am hoping to get another run in on Friday. Pressing On!
Our all-consuming response to the all-deserving revelation of God.
Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather is one of those things that give value to survival.”
– C. S. Lewis