Devotional for Friday December 7th

Good Morning Everyone,


Our theme for this month: “Celebrating Christmas”


Our Bible verse for today: “My heart rejoices in the Lord; my horn is lifted up by the Lord. My mouth boasts over my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation.” 1 Samuel 2:1 (CSB)


Our thought for today: “Rest and rejoice.”


I said it again last night, “This is such a busy time of the year!” – as I rushed from one activity to the next. Then I caught myself. I realized what I was doing. So I stopped, I took a breath, and I reminded myself of what the Christmas season is really about.


Recently I finished re-reading Mark Buchanan’s great book, “The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath.” It’s all about stopping and breathing. It’s about resting and rejoicing. It’s about remembering that God is God and that I am not.


Immediately after finishing that book I began writing a devotional series for the month of December about “advent”, or intentionally preparing ourselves to properly celebrate Christmas. The timing couldn’t have been better. The lessons in Mark’s book set-me-up to want to slow things down enough in order to fully appreciate “the reason for the season”.


This Saturday we are hosting a Christmas party at church for children from a local foster home. The following weekend we will hold the annual Christmas play and musical at our church, followed by a Christmas feast in the Fellowship Hall. Then there’s the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. I have three Christmas sermons to write yet and I haven’t selected the scripture or theme for any of them. All of my children are coming home for Christmas this year and we have to get ready for that; and I haven’t finished Christmas shopping yet either. Sandwiched into all of that is a trip to California to bring my handicapped adult daughter home for the holidays, followed by a trip back to California to bring her home again. And then there’s the New Year’s sermon …


If I’m not careful I will spend the entire month huffing and puffing and rushing around declaring “This is such a busy time of year!”


Or not.


I’m observing advent this year. I’m beginning each day in a devotional state of mind as I prayerfully consider the first coming of Jesus and all that it meant for me personally.


I’m observing advent this year. I’m resting and rejoicing. I hope you are too.


God Bless,

Pastor Jim


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