Wednesday December 23, 2020

For our Advent devotionals we are looking deeper at some of our favorite carols.

Today’s Scripture: John 3:16-17

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

Today’s Carol: O Holy Night

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
   Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
   O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
   O night divine, O night, O night Divine.

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from the Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
   He knows our need, to our weaknesses no stranger,
   Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
   Behold your King, Before Him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.

   Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
   His power and glory evermore proclaim.
   His power and glory evermore proclaim

Today’s Devotional

Before we get to today’s carol, I wanted to let you know that today will be the last daily devotional until January 4, 2021. To be honest with you I had not intended to write these as long as I have. But what started as a need to connect with all of you during our Spring lock-down has turned into a sort of spiritual practice for me. So, with your permission, I would like to continue writing the daily devotionals after the new year. However, I would also like to take a break for the next few days. 🙂

Today’s carol is a favorite of mine. For some reason it’s not in our hymnal – which is a shame. There are so many great phrases in it.

For example: “Long lay the world in sin and error pining till He appeared, and the soul felt its worth.” Notice that the answer for sin and error is not punishment from God but rather feeling our worth – knowing that God loves us so much he was willing to send his only son.

Another phrase is in verse two: “In all our trials born to be our friend. He knows our need, to our weaknesses no stranger.” Christmas is not just a birthday celebration but also a recognition of the fact that the one in the manger is with us still. And more than that – understands what we are going through! Sometimes I think we forget just how powerful it is to have Jesus be our friend in all our circumstances.

And of course verse three is filled with phrases that are important in understanding what God is like and why Jesus came. Truly He taught us to love one another and in His name all oppression shall cease.

And what is our response to all of this? The only thing we can do is fall on our knees and hear the angel voices. May these next few days before Christmas remind us of our worth. May they remind us that Jesus is our friend in all things. May they remind us that God law is love and God’s gospel is peace. And may we fall on our knees in response.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Today’s Prayer

God thank you for Christmas. Thank you for your son. Thank you for your love.


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