In the mood?

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:11-14 KJV

I am sitting here listening to the Amy Grant ‘A Christmas to Remember’ cd on my PC and yes, I know we are two weeks before Thanksgiving.  A Facebook friend shared a photo of her Christmas tree up and beautifully adorning the room.  A house a few blocks south and east of me have all of their Christmas display up, getting people in the mood.  Are you in the ‘mood’ for Christmas?  My little tree is still in the small plastic bag along the south wall in the basement where it was place after Christmas…last year.  It will not be brought up until after Thanksgiving and the rest of the year I am an ‘Easter’ person; the tomb is empty.  The children in this photo have never heard of Amy Grant or seen a Christmas toy catalogue and have probably never experienced having a Christmas tree in their house.  And they, like you and me are Easter people and know for sure that the tomb is empty.  Our North American clutter isn’t important to them now as they patiently await their meal of the day and will give thanks because their God truly loves them.  Such a simple message at a time when some of us prepare to celebrate a simple birth in Bethlehem.  I am closing today with the words from the hymn ‘Holy God, we praise Thy Name’ that were written by an unknown soul in 1775 and later translated by Clarence A. Walworth in 1853.

“Holy God, we praise thy name; Lord of all, we bow before Thee.  All on earth Thy scepter claim, all in heaven above adore Thee.  Infinite Thy vast domain, everlasting is Thy reign.  Hark! the glad celestial hymn Angel choirs above are raising; cherubim and seraphim, in unceasing chorus praising, fill the heavens with sweet accord: Holy, holy, holy, Lord!  Lo, the apostles' holy train join Thy sacred name to hallow; prophets swell the glad refrain, and the white-robed martyrs follow, and from morn to set of sun through the Church the song goes on.  Holy Father, holy Son, Holy Spirit, three we name Thee; though in essence only one, undivided God we claim Thee and, adoring, bend the knee while we own the mystery.”

Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Amen. 

May God be with you…Jay