Sunday, December 27, 2015

Reflections for Christmas Week, Part 1

Monday – God is Light

“God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” Imagine the brightest, most penetrating, most brilliant light you've ever seen. Then multiply that by infinity. That's the kind of light that God is in His own being. He's the kind of light that radiates not just around His children but through them, into the very depths of their hearts and souls. 

Our task is to walk in His light, to bask in it, to soak it up and allow it to permeate us to the core. We must also shun the darkness, for if we choose the darkness of sin and death, we close ourselves off to God's light. 

If, however, we open ourselves up to receiving God's light, we will enter into an intimate relationship with Him as His light courses through us, cleansing us and drawing us nearer and nearer to Him in love. In the process, we will become more and more transparent, and God's light and love will shine through us to everyone around us, and we will have true fellowship with one another in the midst of God's radiance. 

Tuesday – Sing to the Lord

Do you sing to the Lord? Is your prayer ever musical? Does the wonder of melody, harmony, and rhythm move you to praise? 

In today's psalm, the Psalmist invites us to turn our prayer into music and our music into prayer: “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the LORD, all you lands. Sing to the LORD; bless His name.” 

Indeed, music can help us pray better. First, Christian musicians are pros at praising and worshiping God. We can join our voices and our hearts to theirs. Second, music helps us discover and express our most profound desires for goodness, truth, and beauty. Even without lyrics, music touches something deep without our souls and lifts them up to God. Third, music can help sanctify our entire day. Just having good Christian songs playing in the background while we work or drive can boost our spirits quickly and draw us into prayer. 

Sing to the Lord, then, and pray to God with music in your heart and on your lips!

Wednesday – Anna

Anna had been waiting a long time. As she prayed and fasted in the Temple every day, she sometimes looked back to the few years of her marriage, but mostly she looked ahead, waiting for the day when God would send His promised Messiah. Her entire life was focused on her Lord, as she poured herself out before Him in worship and petition, begging Him to send the Savior and trusting that He would do so in His own time.

Now that time at arrived. Anna knew it the moment she saw the tiny, exquisite Baby in the arms of His radiant mother. Something stirred deep within her, and she realized at once this was the One she had been waiting for. 

Anna watched as Simeon approached the little family, gently took the Baby into his arms, and spoke his words of prophecy. She held back for a few moments, understanding that Simeon, too, had long awaited this moment and needed a bit of time alone with his little Lord. 

Finally, it was her turn. She approached, her heart singing in thanksgiving before she even spoke. The Baby turned and looked at her, His gaze reaching the very depths of her soul. She burst forth in praise and thanks to God that His Messiah had finally arrived. The Child's parents seemed a little stunned, both by Simeon's prophecy and her rejoicing, but Anna smiled at them with great love, stroked the Baby's head, and placed her hand on the mother's shoulder. 

But Anna knew her mission wasn't over yet. She had seen the Messiah; now she had to tell the world that He had finally arrived. She began to spread the word, telling everyone who would listen that God had fulfilled His promises. He had sent the Savior. Redemption had finally arrived for Israel and the whole world.

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