Last things to do.

“And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” Romans 13:11 

The day that we recognize as the birthday of our Savior is a week from now.  I can only begin to imagine what is going through your plans and activities today; lots of last minute things to do.  What do you suppose that Joseph and Mary were doing?  Mary was feeling the baby kicking and stretching inside her and she was probably trying to remain comfortable between walking and riding on a donkey.  Joseph was probably wondering if this was the correct thing that he was told to do by the Angel of the Lord. 

While living in Haiti the week before Christmas was spent much like most every other week during the year except that if you sang in a choir you would have a few extra practices to attend.  There were no commercials blasting on the television or radio telling of sales or products that you ‘had to have’ under the Christmas tree.  Christmas was about Jesus, to the believer and un-believer; the vodou followers accepted his birth but denied His resurrection.  I close today with an interesting hymn that an unknown soul wrote around 900 AD.  It was translated by Edward Caswall in 1849 and the title was ‘Vox clara ecce intonat’ but you and I know it as ‘Hark, a thrilling Voice is sounding’. 

“Hark, a thrilling voice is sounding!  "Christ is nigh!" we hear it say; "Cast away the works of darkness, O ye children of the day!"  Startled at the solemn warning, let the earth-bound soul arise; Christ, her Sun, all sloth dispelling, shines upon the morning skies.  Lo, the Lamb, so long expected, comes with pardon down from heaven.  Let us haste, with tears of sorrow, one and all, to be forgiven, that when next He comes with glory and the world is wrapped in fear, He may shield us with His mercy and with words of love draw near.  Honor, glory, might, dominion, to the Father and the Son, with the everlasting Spirit, while eternal ages run!” 

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