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“And Mary said: „My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, because He has looked with favor on the humble condition of His slave. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed, because the Mighty One has done great things for me, and His name is holy.‟” Luke 1:46-49 Mary did not know exactly what the future would hold on the day she found out she was pregnant, but she knew that whatever it meant, it would be exciting and a once in a lifetime experience. She was so excited that she began right away singing praises to God for his holiness and for the family she would soon have. She knew this would be the beginning of a new season in her life. Today communities often have Christmas parades near the beginning of December to bring in the season just as Mary used song to bring in the new season in her life. Make plans now to attend one of these parades. Also, take a family picture today. It’s a great reminder of what’s important and will be sure to come in handy in the near future. Christmas Song: “Mary, Did You Know?” Prayer: Lord, thank You for the gift of Mary, because her "yes" gave us your Son, Jesus. Help me to imitate her obedience and positive attitude in all I do so that I too may show Your goodness to others. Amen.
“…An angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to [Joseph] in a dream, saying, „Joseph, son of David, don't be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.‟ When Joseph got up from sleeping, he did as the Lord's angel had commanded him.” Matthew 1:20-22, 24 Read the last part of that verse again…”he did as the Lord’s angel had commanded him.” Despite everything, rejection of the community, the uncertainty of the future, the opinion of others…despite EVERYTHING, Joseph obeyed. Sometimes parents ask us to do things we don’t necessarily want to do or that we think is very “uncool.” Yet, just like Joseph, we are called to obey. I’m sure there were several times Joseph said to himself, “What child is this?” that he deserves such treatment, yet he loved his heavenly Father enough to know and respect what was requested of him. Today write your parents a letter describing ten things you respect and love about them and share it with them before you go to bed. Also, ask them one thing you can do for them today and then do it with a smile! Christmas Song: “What Child is This?” Prayer: Lord, often You nudge me to act in ways I may not always want to act. Forgive me for not always being obedient. Help me to listen more closely to Your Holy Spirit as Joseph did and obey You and those You have placed in authority over me. Amen.
The Wise Men
“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived unexpectedly in Jerusalem, saying, „Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.‟ Entering the house, they saw the child with Mary His mother, and falling to their knees, they worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” Luke 2:1-2, 11 It is often speculated that there were three kings, magi, or wise men because the Bible mentions three gifts. Yet scripture never specifies how many wise men came to see Jesus only that there were only three gifts. So were there only three kings? No know really knows. Yet the question remains, why these gifts? Well to begin, each of these gifts were very rare, valuable, and precious in Jesus’ time. They were gifts for kings and kings only. Yet in Jesus’ case they were also symbolic of who Jesus was—pure as gold, divine as the burnt offerings of frankincense, and the Savior who would die, be embalmed with myrrh, and rise again to the amazement of all. Today, make Christmas gift tags for your gifts and personalize them as only you can to make these added treasures to your recipients—gifts fit for a king. Christmas Song: “We Three Kings” Prayer: Lord, You are always ready to guide me. But sometimes I don't want to go where You lead. Grant me the grace to trust in You and to follow. Amen. For more information: http://planetholy.wordpress.com/2007/12/10/ why-gold-frankincense-and-myrrh/
“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:25 While it is often assumed that camels are part of the nativity scene and that the wise men came on camels to see the baby Jesus, the Bible never mentions them in the story. It is only assumed that the wise men came on camels because it was common for magi of the time to travel in such a fashion. This weekend take the “Journey to Bethlehem” and participate in a church’s guided journey through an outdoor Christmas experience or Christmas Pageant. Be prepared to take a journey you’ll never forget. Christmas Song: “O Little Town of Bethlehem” Prayer: Lord, just as camels are sometimes stubborn and mean-spirited, I too sometimes have a sinful attitude. Forgive me. I give You all me, including my imperfections. Give me the grace to be submissive to Your spirit, at work in my soul and through others, so that I may do Your Will. Amen.
“After hearing the king, they went on their way. And there it was—the star they had seen in the east! It led them until it came and stopped above the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed beyond measure.” Matthew 2:9-10 The wise men followed the “the star.” The question remains though, what was this “Star of Bethlehem?” Some think it was a comet, others the gathering of plants or even a supernova (exploding star), but each of these descriptions fall short of the nativity story as presented in Matthew. Thus, the star had to be a miracle! Otherwise, how could such a star have led the wise men to the exact spot where Jesus lay and how come only the wise men saw the star? Tonight, grab some hot apple cider, go star gazing, and imagine the amazing sight such a star would be to behold in the sky. Christmas Song: “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Prayer: Lord, how amazing it must have been to behold that star of Bethlehem. You, Lord and Creator of the Universe have not only created that star, but all the stars in the galaxy and beyond. Thank you so much for lighting the way to your Son both for the wise men and for us. We would be lost without you. Amen.
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-21 The Poinsettia is known as the “Christmas star” or the "Christmas flower." It is also the December birth flower. In 1826, while serving as the first US Ambassador to Mexico, Poinsett noticed the poinsettia by the side of a road in Southern Mexico. Fascinated by the leaves, Poinsett brought it back to his greenhouse in South Carolina. Later the Mexicans converted to Christianity as a result of the work of missionaries and became the first to celebrate the poinsettia's Christian meaning. They saw the poinsettia's red leaves as symbols of a deep love for Jesus. Today choose and pray for a missionary somewhere around the world. You may also want to write them an encouraging note and/or send a copy of your family’s newsletter. They love to know that they are being prayed for and thought about. Christmas Song: “Feliz Navidad” Prayer: Lord, thank you so much for the missionaries around the world who have devoted their lives to sharing the Good News with those who have not heard. Please protect them and give them strength, guide their words and guard their families so that you may use them to the fullest. It is because of people like these who shared the Good News with someone in my family that I have heard of you. Give me the boldness to also do the same in my own sphere of influence. Amen. For more information: http://www.suite101.com/content/poinsettiachristmas-plant-a79694#ixzz18OsbZ6J2
“Fear no more, Daughter Zion; look! your King is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt.” John 12:15 The Bible gives very little detail on Mary & Joseph's actual trip to Bethlehem. Considering the times and the location, though, it was very likely that they would've had a donkey carrying their food and belongings on the trip. In addition, Mary, who was well along in her pregnancy, would've ridden it rather than walked the entire way. Donkeys are slow, methodical, and strong animals. Sometimes strength of character and slow persistence are just the traits needed to bring Christ to someone who is not particularly interested in knowing Him. Today gather & deliver food to a local food pantry and pray for the people that will receive that food as it may be the very thing that draws those people to Jesus. Christmas Song: “Good Christian Men Rejoice!” Prayer: Lord, strengthen my spirit and set my pace so that I may be an effective instrument in bringing Your message to others. Amen.
Kwanzaa and Hanukkah
“Listen, Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is One. Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:4-7 During the Christmas season there are often two other celebrations going on around the same time in some other homes—Kwanzaa and Hanukkah. Both are celebrations known to a particular culture. Kwanzaa (which began in 1966) is a celebration honoring African American heritage and culture while Hanukkah (which began around 166 B.C.) is primarily a Jewish celebration centering around the story of some miraculous oil that kept a set of very special candles lit for 8 nights. While these celebrations are not exactly Christian in nature, nor do they acknowledge Jesus as Lord, they do stress the importance of family heritage which should be important to us all. Today make and send out a Christmas newsletter. Have everyone in the family contribute articles, pictures, or poems and then mail them to your family and friends as a means to share your family’s story and your family’s traditions this year. Christmas Song: “Sing We Now of Christmas” Prayer: Lord, thank you for a family heritage that places Your Word in the forefront in my life. Help me to never forget and live out what I have been taught. Amen. For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwanzaa or http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanukkah
“Then Jesus spoke to them again: "I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life." John 8:12 The tradition of using small candles to light up the Christmas tree dates back to at least the mid-1600s, beginning first in Germany and then eventually spreading around the world. Originally candles for the tree were glued with melted wax to a tree branch or attached by pins. In 1882, the first Christmas tree was lit by the use of electricity. Edward Johnson (under the direction of Thomas Edison) lit up a Christmas tree in New York City with eighty small electric light bulbs which eventually became a mass phenomenon. Today, go with your family to view Christmas light displays around the city and remember that Jesus is the true light of the world! Christmas Song: “It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas” Prayer: Lord, thank you for sending your Son to be the Light of the World so that we would not have to walk in darkness anymore. Help me to share that light with others. Amen.
“Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors!” Luke 2:13-14 No one actually knows what angels look like but they are mentioned several times in the Bible as the ministers of God and the agents of revelation. The angel Gabriel revealed God’s plan of Jesus’ birth and a heavenly host joined in when revealing the same truth to the shepherds. Today join the heavenly host in singing praises. Go caroling at a nursing home or videotape the singing of some Christmas carols to email to family members. Let your praises ring! Christmas Song: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” Prayer: Lord, whether or not I have a good singing voice or a poor one, help me to "make a joyful noise unto the Lord" at this holy time of year! Praise You, Lord, for You have been born among us! Amen.
Shepherds and Sheep
“When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, „Let's go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.‟ They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the feeding trough. After seeing [them], they reported the message they were told about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” Luke 2:16-18 Shepherds were people hired to tend, feed and guard sheep as they grazed pasture land; there were no fences at the time. In Jesus’ day, shepherds were among the poorest of society. Yet, God chose these people to be the first to see and hear about Jesus’ birth so that everyone would know they could come to Him, the Great Shepherd, whether rich or poor. And the shepherds were so excited—they told everyone about it! It was amazing! Tonight, have a picnic for dinner on the living room floor and as you sit around, talk about your favorite Christmas memories just as the shepherds shared their Christmas memories of seeing the baby Jesus in a manger. Christmas Song: “How Great Our Joy!” Prayer: Lord, help me to listen when others talk about what You've done in their lives. May I be open to seeing Your power at work in them. Also, please give me opportunities and strength to share what you’ve done in my life so that others may see Jesus through me. Amen. For more information: http://hubpages.com/hub/Why-The-Shepherds
“Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough—because there was no room for them at the inn.” Luke 2:7 The cow is yet another unmentioned animal of the nativity scene even though the very bed in which Mary laid the baby Jesus was none other than a feeding trough used for animals such as cattle, sheep, and goats. So why a manger? After all, Jesus is the only person on this earth who had a choice as to how he would enter this world. Well, a manger represented humility. The only way Jesus could reach the world was to humble himself, become a human, and relate to the lowliest of the low. If the shepherds had been asked to find the baby Jesus in a bassinet or basket or some other bedding, he would have appeared like any other baby…not the unique Son of God who came as a shepherd to save the world. Today, make and decorate a thanksgiving box in which you can place notes of thanks and praise in throughout the year. You may want to start by placing a piece of paper in there that says, “Thank you for your Son, sent as a baby in a feeding trough.” Then, next Thanksgiving, don’t forget to open the box and read what you have put inside. You will have a host of things to read in thanksgiving as you sit down for your family meal. Christmas Song: “Away in a Manger” Prayer: Lord, thank you for sending your Son as a humble baby in a rough feeding trough. Just as you used a feeding trough to fulfill your plan for the Savior’s birth, please use my rough soul, full of imperfections and selfish desires, as a dwelling for your Son. Help me to clean out my heart and make room for what is really important in my life—You. Amen.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11 “Look at the Candy Cane, what do you see? Stripes that are red like the blood shed for me. White for my Savior who's sinless and pure! "J" is for Jesus, my Lord, that's for sure! Turn it around and a staff you will see Jesus my shepherd was born for Me!” Although the exact origin of the candy cane is unsure, it presents us as believers with a simple opportunity to share a little bit of the Gospel story with those we meet during the Christmas season. Today, make pepper nuts, then place them in small goodie bags and tie with a bow and a candy cane to share with neighbors and Sunday School teachers. Who knows… the opportunity may just open for you to be able to share your faith in Christ and you’ll have the perfect gospel track to share with them—a candy cane. Christmas Song: “The First Noel” Prayer: Lord, thank you for sending your Son as the Good Shepherd to save these lost sheep—us. May I use every opportunity you give me to share the good news with others around me. Amen. For pepper nut recipe: http://cornerstoneconfessions.blogspot.com/2011/11/chocolate-chippeppernuts.html
Colors Red and Green
“For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things, like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of the times for you” 1 Peter 1:18-20 At Christmastime colors of red and green can be seen everywhere. Red is the color of holly berries and green the color of evergreens, both of which are associated with Christmas. Red reminds us of the blood of Christ, shed for our sins on Calvary, and green is the color of grass and vegetation, hence, of life. Therefore, red and green remind us of suffering and sacrifice and of the life that God has given us through the sufferings of Christ. Today, as you take time to remember the full extent of what it meant for Jesus to come to earth in the form of a babe, paint your toenails red and green to celebrate! Christmas Song: “The Holly and the Ivy” Prayer: Lord, You came so that You could teach us who You are and share with us what true love is. Then You died and rose again in order to give us the opportunity for life. Grant me the grace to surrender my life to You so that all my suffering and pain may result in spiritual growth, to Your glory, forever. Amen.
“I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5 Did you know that every single snowflake is different? There are no two snowflakes exactly alike. God made each of us unique as well. There is no one else just like you! He had a plan for your life before you were even born. He loves you and created you to fulfill a special purpose. Today, keep warm, especially if it’s snowing and enjoy some hot chocolate. While you’re at it create some snowflakes using white paper and scissors to decorate your refrigerator or room. No doubt about it, every one is sure to be unique! Christmas Song: “Let it Snow!” Prayer: Lord, thank you for creating each one of us unique and special. Help me to use my uniqueness for you and instill in me the boldness to fulfill the special purpose you have created me for to further your kingdom. Amen.
“But when you give to the poor, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:3-4 The idea of Santa Claus stems from the generosity of a bishop by the name of Saint Nicholas who lived around 325 A.D. St. Nicholas, or St. Nick as he was sometimes called, was known for taking to heart Jesus’ words about giving in Matthew 6, often being very generous to the poor and most often anonymously. The bishop’s fur trimmed red winter garments eventually transformed into Santa Clause’s outfit while the bishop’s generosity transferred to “jolly old St. Nicholas…” who delivers gifts anonymously now every Christmas Eve. What started with one man many years ago has now grown beyond imagination as people from all over the world share with others during the Christmas season under the code name of Santa Claus. Today think of one person you can be Santa Claus too and show kindness to them before the day is out in a way that leaves your identity anonymous. Christmas Song: “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” Prayer: Lord, grant me the spirit of generosity that Saint Nicholas possessed. Help me to do good in secret, without any desire for recognition and repayment. May I trust in You for any reward. Amen.
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 By far, the most commonly reported Christmas stocking story revolves around one of St. Nicholas’ generous excursions. This story tells of a poor man with three daughters. In those days a young woman's father had to offer prospective husbands something of value—a dowry. Without a dowry, a woman was unlikely to marry. This poor man's daughters, without dowries, were therefore destined to be sold into slavery. Mysteriously, on three different occasions, a bag of gold appeared in their home-providing the needed dowries. The bags of gold, tossed through an open window, are said to have landed in stockings or shoes left before the fire to dry. This led to the custom of children hanging stockings or putting out shoes to await for gifts from Saint Nicholas. Today, hang your stockings, then stay in your PJs as you snuggle up with a bowl of popcorn and a cup of wassail to watch Christmas movies. As you do, remember that the real reason for the joy and hope of the season is not in the tinsel, stockings, or Santa Claus, but in Jesus’ birth—the greatest gift of all! Christmas Song: “Joy to the World” Prayer: Lord, may my heart be an empty stocking to be filled by only You. Fill it with Your desires, Your gifts, and Your treasures. Help me to not live life expecting everything to be handed to me so that I may be thankful for the “bags of gold” that come my way as you are truly the giver of all things. Amen. For more information: http://www.ehow.com/about_5403800_historychristmas-stockings.html#ixzz17jWi38GJ
“Each person should do as he has decided in his heart—not out of regret or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 Elves are known to be tiny, dwarf-like creatures, either male or female, with pointed ears. They are youthful but immortal, have magical powers that can control what you see and experience and are often mischievous in nature. Prior to the mid-1800s, elves were primarily associated with pagan customs and beliefs. The Scandinavians are the ones who created the association between Santa Claus and the elves. They came to be known as Santa’s little helpers who help Santa to design toys, process toy requests of children, take care of Santa's reindeer and so on. While there really are no such things as elves, the Holy Spirit does have the power to enable you to see and experience the unfathomable and He IS real. Today, have fun pretending to be Santa’s little elves as you wrap Christmas presents. You may even want to create your own wrapping paper by coloring or sponge painting large sheets of butcher paper for a personal effect. Christmas Song: “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Year” Prayer: Lord, giver of all things, let me give cheerfully this year, not as the world gives, but as You would have me give, not expecting anything in return. Amen. For more information: http://www.theholidayspot.com/christmas/ history/elves.htm
“As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, God.” Psalm 42:1 When the concept of Santa Claus became popular in Scandinavia, reindeer, otherwise known as caribou, quickly became associated with him. In Scandinavian countries, reindeer are domesticated and used for meat as well as for pulling sleighs. The story of Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, was a 1939 creation of Robert May who wrote Rudolph's story as a Christmas comic book for a Montgomery Ward department store. Today, reindeer provide an interesting example of how the Holy Spirit uses secular symbols to prepare people to accept the Divine. Just as Rudolph was rejected by his fellow reindeer, Christ was rejected by his people. In addition, just as Rudolph provided a light for Santa’s path, Christ provides the spiritual light for the way to the Father. Today, be a light to your mail carrier by making him/her something special and placing it in your mailbox. Unlike the reindeer who only deliver presents once a year, your mail carrier must deliver the mail rain or shine 6 days a week, all year long. They will appreciate your extra thoughtfulness. Christmas Song: “Go, Tell it On the Mountain” Prayer: Lord, my heart longs to be the heart of David’s when he wrote: “as the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, God.” Reveal yourself to me new every morning and help me to be the ever devoted deliverer of your message to those around me. Amen.
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 From the 700s in Germany to the present, evergreen has been a symbol of Jesus’ promise of eternal life and of the Christ child who came to bring that life. The Christmas tree that never appears to die even in winter with its needles and its narrow crest pointed upward, turn thoughts toward heaven. Since it is cut down and then erected again, it also represents Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. The evergreen wreath also has significant meaning for the season. Its circular shape represents eternity, for it has no beginning and no end. The holly branches with its thorns represent the thorns on Jesus' crown when he was crucified and the bright red holly berries Jesus' blood that was shed for us. Today gather the family around and play a board game together enjoying what is really important—love. And while you’re at it, take time to say a prayer of thanksgiving to the God and the giver of the best prize of all—a love leading to life everlasting! Christmas Song: “O Christmas Tree” Prayer: Lord, thank you for the best prize of all—the love of your Son who came to earth to die and rise again so that we might have everlasting life in heaven with you. Amen.
Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die—ever. Do you believe this?" John 11:26 Ornaments began appearing on the Christmas Tree scene in the early 1800’s in the form of fruits and nuts as yet another symbol that all hope is not lost and life would again return to spring. Soon foil-type decorations were added to reflect the light of the room or of candles on the tree as a representative of how we are vessels that reflect Christ’s love. By the late 1800s glass ornaments were also being shipped to America from Germany until eventually Americans began producing and making their own ornaments. Today, ornaments represent family history and important times in the life of a family. An ornament in the shape of a baby may represent the birth of a new member of the family or a key, the purchase of a new home. Today get creative, gather your craft supplies and create a new ornament to place on the tree. Take special care to think of how this ornament can represent you or your family this year. If you get extra excited you may even want to make more to share. Christmas Song: “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” Prayer: Lord, I believe that you are the Son of God and the giver of everlasting life. Make me a vessel that reflects Christ’s love to others. Thank you for my family that loves me and helps me to live for you. Amen.
“He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created.” John 1:2-3 The origin of Gingerbread dates back to ancient times when ginger was known for its medicinal properties, often used for curing stomach aches. The first gingerbread man is credited to the court of Queen Elizabeth I, who impressed important visitors with charming gingerbread portraits while the tradition of baking a Gingerbread house began in Germany after the Brothers Grimm published their collection of German fairy tales (which included the story of Hansel and Gretel) in the early 1800s. In Germany, gingerbread houses continue to be popular. In some villages, each family brings a model of their home to a central location where the village is recreated in miniature. Then, on New Year's Day, the children break the houses apart and eat them to celebrate the New Year. Gingerbread has a unique flavor because the spice, ginger, is so distinctive. As Christians we also have a distinct flavor---it's what Christ said others will know us by. We should be that Christian that's baked up and ready, full of God's love, and willing to share the true meaning of Christmas with others. Today make some gingerbread men or decorate a gingerbread house to share with family and/or friends. Don’t forget to enjoy a few yourself with some eggnog. Also, if you make a gingerbread house, you may want to save and eat it on New Year’s Day to bring in the New Year. Christmas Song: “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” Prayer: Dear Lord, put in me the ingredients that best reflects Your love so that others may know I'm Your child. And let me rely on Your strength so that I won't crumble and fall apart even when life gets hot. Amen.
“Make pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn on its lower hem and all around it. Put gold bells between them all the way around, [so that] gold bells and pomegranates alternate around the lower hem of the robe. The robe must be [worn by] Aaron whenever he ministers, and its sound will be heard when he enters the sanctuary before the LORD and when he exits, so that he does not die.” Exodus 28:33-35 If we go back in history we will see that the tradition of bells has been around for a long, long time. Towns often used bells to announce important news or the need for a large gathering or celebration. Churches today sound bells to announce the birth of Christ on earth. Yet, Christmas bells not only symbolize the joy of Christmas; they also remind us that Christ is the ultimate High Priest. Just as Aaron had to have bells on his robe to announce his entrance and exit into the Holy of Holies in Old Testament times as he offered sacrifices for the people’s sins, Jesus now acts as our High Priest since He offered the ultimate sacrifice for our sins—himself. Today, take some time to dance to a praise song or exciting Christmas music as worship to the Lord Jesus, the ultimate High Priest who loves you more than life. Christmas Song: “Jingle Bells” Prayer: Lord, we praise and thank You for the gift of Your Son, our great High Priest, who offered Himself as the sacrifice for our sins. Only Your great mercy and justice could conceive of such a gift to us. Let our lives joyfully proclaim that Jesus is Priest, Prophet, and King! Amen!
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins." Matthew 1:21 The tradition of lighting birthday candles on a cake began years ago beginning with the Greeks. It was believed that the blowing out of candles represented one's prayers being sent up to God—prayers for a fruitful year to come and thankfulness for the year past. The practice of making a silent wish and then attempting to blow out all the candles so the wish might be granted originated from this idea. Today make a birthday cake for Jesus and then go to a Christmas Eve service at a church where you will have the opportunity to light a candle in honor of Christ’s birth. As you blow out your candle at the end of the service, send a prayer of thanksgiving with it as you thank God for Jesus and His birthday. Christmas Song: “Silent Night” Prayer: Lord, thank you for sending your Son to be born so long ago in Bethlehem. Let us never forget to celebrate your birthday—truly the most important birthday of all. Amen. For more information: http://www.ehow.com/about_5076732_historybirthday-candles.html#ixzz18PFusSbr
Read today‟s passage from your Bible. Luke 2:1-20 This is the moment everyone had been waiting for—the arrival of the Savior. The Jewish people had waited hundreds of years for this fulfillment of prophecy. Today is the day you’ve been waiting for too—Christmas! Christmas is such a joyous time. It’s time for friends and family members to gather and time to exchange gifts. It’s a time of fun and food, presents and gifts, joy and laughter. Today as you celebrate with your family take time to remember the best gift ever given—Jesus! Don’t forget to eat His birthday cake today in honor of His birthday, and be sure to give thanks to Him as well as He is the true reason for the season. Merry Christmas! Christmas Song: “Birthday of a King” Prayer: Lord, thank you for the gift of your Son, the best gift of all. Happy Birthday Jesus! Amen.
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