Christmas - Love - Day 24

Opening Prayer: 

Heavenly Father, as you gave the gift of your Son to the world that starry-filled night, continue to extend your love and compassion to us today. We thank you for your mercies that are new every morning. We praise you for giving us life more abundantly and for setting in motion the plan for our salvation over 2,000 years ago.

 

Read: I John 4:7-10, NIV

7 "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the World that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

 

Reflect:   

The church we attended for several years before coming to Pathway put on an annual Christmas Cantata. As a part of that production, while the choir sang various songs and medleys throughout the program, there was a scene where Joseph and Mary appeared (stage left) for the audience to see. In a reenactment of the birth of Jesus, the actors held the baby Jesus and gazed at him as the choir sang through each verse of the song. I could not tell you what the song was when the curtain opened for the audience to see. I only remember this event because our youngest daughter played the part of baby Jesus. She was born in October and seemed a good age to take the stage. My wife and I always felt it was a fair rendering of the amazing birth of Jesus because it was truly a “miracle” that she remained in the arms of “Mary” for as long as she did without throwing a screaming fit! That is how most encounters with strangers went for her the first couple of years of her life.

Since I was singing and “keeping watch,” waiting for soon coming meltdown, I could not help but think of what God’s thoughts might have been that glorious day when Jesus was born. I considered the wonderous gift our heavenly father gave us through sending his son to earth to one day redeem us at the cross. I pondered the hearts and minds of Christ’s earthly parents. Did they fully appreciate what their infant son had been sent to do? Were the gifts of the Magi, gold (for a king), frankincense (for anointing) and Myrrh (for burial preparation) really understood by them? What aspirations did they have for this newborn king? With so many astounding events unfolding all around them, from Mary’s pregnancy, to Jesus’ birth, they surely had more questions than answers for what lie ahead for their son.

The fact is, God gave his one and only son for this lost and dying world. As a parent, I could never imagine or conceive giving my baby girl up for anyone, let alone for a world of hardened sinners. When we think about the full extent of God’s love through this gift, we begin to appreciate the depth and magnitude of his love for us…just a little. I would argue that we can never fully fathom what God did for us. But when I think about that babe in a manger, and about that evening my daughter played the Christ Child, I begin to understand the cost…just a little. No greater love could God or anyone ever demonstrate, than to give his one and only son, so that the world could one day be reconciled back to him.

 

Apply: 

This Christmas season, remember the many gifts you have because of God’s blessings in your life. Consider sharing these blessings with others, in the community, in your church, across the globe or wherever an opportunity to give might present itself to you. My family has been able to distribute lunches to the homeless for over 18 years, starting when my daughters were quite young. If you ask them about giving to those in need, you will find that they will most likely share with you about these monthly giving experiences they grew up with as being a part of their lives. When your children grow older, what memories will they have of giving? How can you impact that area of their lives? Make a difference today! Begin a legacy today that will impact this generation and generations to come!

 

Closing Prayer: 

Dear Lord, we are so very thankful for you working through our lives to reach those in need. It is through your provision that we have the ability to give and we look forward to more opportunities to share these blessings of God with those less fortunate. Let us demonstrate your love to a lost and dying world, just as you first loved us, by sending your son Jesus to make a way of salvation for all of humanity.

Today’s Family Christmas Calendar Activity: Pray for a child that doesn’t have a family this Christmas

Pick up a calendar at your campus. Learn more at ChristmasAtPathway.com

https://www.pathwaychurch.com/christmas

 

Terry Schneider