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The Birth of Jesus!

Opening Prayer for Christmas Eve Service
Rev. Dr. Sean B. Murray

Gracious, loving and merciful God, on this Christmas Eve, as the light of your Word penetrates our hearts, as we are reminded of the gift of life and faith, as the glories of the heavenly hosts are echoed in our church, we open ourselves up to your Spirit and give you thanks.   We are grateful, Lord Jesus, that your story has become our story, and we celebrate your birth.  

Continue, we pray, to instill in us a profound sense of your abiding presence, and help us to take to heart the wonder of your love, that we may walk in your ways and delight in your will. 

Help us, Lord God, to be the faithful, gracious, loving, giving and forgiving people you would have us be.

Charles Dickens

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” 

~Charles Dickens

What a day! I did nearly finish a sermon for Sunday. I am preaching on the fact that the story of Christmas is found in the Old Testament Book of Ruth. I am looking forward in proclaiming the Word of God on Sunday. I love Sunday mornings being with God’s people.

I had a good workout at 24 Hour Fitness this afternoon. It was leg day! I love and hate leg day. I hate it because it is so hard but I love it because it is so beneficial. So it was squats and lunges! Then I hit the treadmill for intervals…30 seconds sprint/30 seconds rest for 30 minutes. Brutal but good for burning calories. As long as my 53 year-old body can take it, I will continue to push it hard in the gym.

I needed that workout.

More importantly I needed to pray…

Earlier in the day I received a phone call at church. The conversation lasted nearly an hour. The person (not a member of my church) who called me described the bad marriage he/she was involved in. As I listened, I was reminded that sin is so deceptive and so damaging. I cannot give the details of the phone call, but believe me it would make you scream with disgust if you heard what I heard today. I still am struggling with some of the things that are roaming in my mind.

Lord Jesus Come!

He has come! He came nearly 2000 years ago!

The first Sunday of Advent is this Sunday.

Jesus Christ is the only hope for a broken world and for broken lives.

Let focus all our attention on Jesus this Christmas season.

May the Lord send revival soon!

by Mark Altrogge on December 21, 2011

Christmas is the season of joy.  Yeah right.

As Paul McCartney sings, “Simply having a wonderful Christmas time,” I see haggard looking parents pushing their gift-laden baskets through the aisles of stores yelling at their kids, “If you ask one more time we’re going home and never coming back ever again.  And you will eat oatmeal from now on.  Without sugar.  And we’re never going to McDonald’s again either!”  (I once threatened to never take my kids to McDonald’s again.  Empty threat #302).

Would people describe you as joyful?

Would your co-workers and neighbors?  Would your classmates and roommates say you’re cheerful?  If your friends knew no other Christians but you what would their impression of Christianity be?  Would little kids describe you as happy or fun?  This quote by D Martin Lloyd Jones challenges me:

“Nothing is more important, therefore, than that we should be delivered from the condition which gives other people, looking at us, the impression that to be a Christian means to be unhappy, to be sad, to be morbid, and that the Christian is one who ‘scorns delights and lives laborious days’…..It behooves us, therefore, not only for our own sakes, but also for the sake of the Kingdom of God and the glory of the Christ in whom we believe, to represent Him and His cause, His message and His power in such a way that men and women, far from being antagonized, will be drawn and attracted as they observe us, whatever our circumstances or condition.  We must so live that they will be compelled to say: would to God I could be like that, would to God I could live in this world and go through this world as that person does.”

Christians should be joy radiators. And not just at Christmas.  This doesn’t mean we’re rosy-eyed Pollyannas who wear pasted on fake smiles all the time. This doesn’t even necessarily mean we feel happy. But there’s a joy in Christ that’s deep and lasting and real.  And others should see something of it in us.

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. (Luke 2:10)

Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11)

Think about it…

For the rest of the post…

The 12th century Wexford Carol:

Good people all, this Christmas time,
Consider well and bear in mind
What our good God for us has done
In sending his beloved son
With Mary holy we should pray,
To God with love this Christmas Day
In Bethlehem upon that morn,
There was a blessed Messiah born

The night before that happy tide
The noble Virgin and her guide
Were long time seeking up and down
To find a lodging in the town
But mark right well what came to pass
From every door repelled, alas
As was foretold, their refuge all
Was but a humble ox’s stall

Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep
To whom God’s angel did appear
Which put the shepherds in great fear
Arise and go, the angels said
To Bethlehem, be not afraid
For there you’ll find, this happy morn
A princely babe, sweet Jesus, born

With thankful heart and joyful mind
The shepherds went the babe to find
And as God’s angel had foretold
They did our Saviour Christ behold
Within a manger he was laid
And by his side a virgin maid
Attending on the Lord of Life
Who came on earth to end all strife

There were three wise men from afar
Directed by a glorious star
And on they wandered night and day
Until they came where Jesus lay
And when they came unto that place
Where our beloved Messiah lay
They humbly cast them at his feet
With gifts of gold and incense sweet.

Merry Christmas?



The Word Became Flesh

By Trevin Wax on Dec 18, 2010

The Word became flesh.

God became human,
the invisible became visible,
the untouchable became touchable,
eternal life experienced temporal death,
the transcendent one descended and drew near,
the unlimited became limited,
the infinite became finite,
the immutable became mutable,
the unbreakable became fragile,
spirit became matter,
eternity entered time,
the independent became dependent,
the almighty became weak,
the loved became the hated,
the exalted was humbled,
glory was subjected to shame,
fame turned into obscurity,
from inexpressible joy to tears of unimaginable grief,
from a throne to a cross,
from ruler to being ruled,
from power to weakness.

Sam Storms


An Advent Prayer to Christ Jesus

By Trevin Wax on Dec 5, 2010

Lord Jesus Christ,
You are our eternal salvation,
The unfailing light of the world.

Light everlasting,
You are truly our redemption.

Grieving that the human race was perishing through the tempter’s power,
without leaving the heights You came to the depths in your loving kindness.

Readily taking our humanity by Your gracious will,
You saved all earthly creatures, long since lost,
Restoring joy to the world.

Redeem our souls and bodies, O Christ,
and so possess us as Your shining dwellings.

By Your first coming, make us righteous;
At your second coming, set us free:
So that, when the world is filled with light
and you judge all things,
We may be clad in Your spotless robes
and follow in Your steps, O King,
into the heavenly hall.

– Unknown Author, 10th century (adapted)

© Copyright by Trevin Wax

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