Christmas is a week away. I don’t want to add to your stress but help you be still and know He is God, taking ten minutes at the start of each day to experience the Prince of Peace.
Our own Lydia said:
If I don’t set aside a time for reflection, I get lost in the Christmas shuffle. The Lord gently reminds me to be still and know that He is God…Peace fills the atmosphere…. Even in my business, with preparations and practice for the Christmas cantata, special meals with family and friends, I have been sensing little God nudges “I Am here, talk to Me…remember Who you are celebrating”!
And from our own Patti:
The closer it gets to Christmas, the more I try to take quiet time (even in the middle of the night) to reflect on the Savior’s birth; the true meaning of this time.
So let’s meet here for a few minutes each day, and be still, meditating on His Word and songs inspired by His Beloved children.
God Hunt Sunday:
1. How has God met you in the stress or joys of life in this last week?
Monday: Hold Me, Jesus!
I was so moved by Susan’s post, who was feeling particularly down last week with Covid and feeling she’s failed as a mother to her daughter. Matt’s sermon on Everlasting Father made her weep. (And her husband was listening intently — so keep praying for him!) Here is what she said:
God worked through his sermon. It made me cry. In the face of my sin, the Everlasting Father lays down His life and accepts humiliation. He knows my sin and rebellion is misplaced desire. When the bottom of my life falls out, He wants me to remember than He never forsook me or stopped loving me. What if my brokenness is not meant to crush me but to call me home? What does God feel toward me when He sees my sin, the mess I’ve made as I’ve tried to rule my own life? Compassion. What am I met with when I return home? Forgiveness. Why did Jesus live, die, and rise? Because my Father wanted me to have a way home. The Everlasting Father loves His children. If I know and believe this, I will stop running and exhausting myself. We can come to Jesus as King of Kings, but never let Him manifest the Everlasting Father to us.
I’m a huge Rich Mullens fan — and his words before he sings this anointed song are one of the reasons I am. How I pray it ministers to you as you begin this week. Also really meditate on the words to the song.
2. Comment on his thoughts expressed before he sang or the song.
3. Meditate on Psalm 46 and share anything that becomes radioactive.
Tuesday: I Heard The Bells
Sorrow doesn’t stop at Christmas. There’s a new movie out about Longfellow’s heart-aching motive for writing this song. (Has anyone seen it?) This week brought hard news as my dear friend Ann’s cancer has spread. Yet we do not grieve as those who have no hope.
4. How can you use the truth of this song to speak to your soul in whatever hard things you are facing or that our world is facing?
5. Meditate on Philippians 4:6-7 and then use it as a springboard for prayer.
6. Listen to the above and then meditate on Matthew 1:18-25
A. Does anything stand out to you from this passage — if so — what?
B. Several of you mentioned Joseph when I asked you last week to name a good father in Scripture. How do you think the name “Emmanuel” calmed him down in his hard circumstances?
C. How can this name give you peace in what you face today?
Thursday: O Come O Come Emmanuel
7. What names of Jesus in O Come O Come Emmanuel particularly comfort you? Why?
Friday: Unto Us A Child Is Born
A particularly quiet man in our church spoke up as we were studying Isaiah 9:6 and we all listened. He said: “Isaiah told us how it was going to all come down with His first coming, and it did. And he’s told us how it will come with His second coming, and it will.
8. Meditate on Isaiah 9:6-7 (and Let Handel’s music fill your heart)
A. What did Isaiah prophesy about the first coming of Jesus that indeed “came down?”
B. What did he prophesy about the second coming?
C. Use this as a springboard for prayer.
Christmas Eve: It Was Not A Silent Night
9. Listen to the above and share what stands out to you and why.
10. There was so much suffering surrounding the birth of Christ: the shame Mary and Joseph faced, the tension of no room at the Inn while she was in labor, the slaughter of the innocents and the escape to Egypt. But most of all was the suffering of Christ Himself who emptied Himself to become one of us. One of my favorite posts this Advent was from Bing who wrote this:
Emptying oneself is so foreign to the world and could be to us as Christians. I just had a conversation with my daughter over the phone, and it was such a temptation to give her a scolding or a lecture over what I perceived as her lack of faith. To empty myself at that moment was to let go of my pride and desire to control, and to really hear her cry for help behind the façade of independence.
11. Meditate on Philippians 2:5-11 and consider how to apply it as you are with others this week.