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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sunday Words of Encouragement December 20, 2015

We visited at our “second” local church today for the early service. The music was lovely and we are always pleasantly surprised that there are songs that are new to us…even Christmas songs.

The pastor gave a very good message on Symbols of Christmas. He noted that the season is full of symbols: lights, the Christmas Tree, ornaments, poinsettias, candles, even Christmas cards.  There are symbols in scripture too. The primary one he focused on is the manger and surroundings of the new birth. (Matthew 1: 18-25.)

The Jewish people were looking for a king but a king is not readily accessible to everyone. Instead, God sent his son to be born in a manger, a feeding trough in a stable, to serve as simple reminder of what He has done for us. The baby was wrapped, not in robes, but in swaddling clothes. This is the first image of a savior who is available to all.

Shepherds usually are considered as “nobodies”. In the nativity story, the heavenly angles bring the message of the good news to these lowly people. Christmas music, full of joy, hope and telling of the story, reminds us that the gift of the baby of salvation is available to all.

The Angels also appeared with light in the darkness just as the baby brought light to a dark world. His light is available to all.

God loves the simple, common man, and seeks to rescue, redeem and restore, any who will believe and accept the gift of salvation He offers.

These are the verses for Peace and Light from:
A hymn for the lighting of the Advent candles
The Candle of Hope
LYONS ("O Worship the King, All Glorious Above!")
Copyright © 2015 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette

The candle of peace shines bright with God's plan;
The wolf will lie down and dwell with the lamb.
Our guns and our weapons, our hatred and war,
Will give way to gardens that heal and restore.

The Christ candle's light that shines for us here
Tells out the good news that God has come near!
God came, a poor baby, in one time and place,
To show all creation the wealth of God's grace.

This is another song from our Christmas program last week. It fits with today's message.
This is a version I liked after watching many.
Who Would Imagine a King.

Verses for Today:
Matthew 1:21-25
"She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US."

I am so very thankful that Jesus, our King and Savior, came as a humble baby to grow as a man so that he could die as the sacrifice to bridge the gap between heaven and earth.

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