December 27, 2021

December 27, 2021

December 27, 2021

Steve Abercrombie
Laity
Tennessee Valley District

Psalm 72 (NIV)
Jeremiah 31:7-14 (NIV)
John 1:10-18 (NIV)

Devotion

We have made it through another Holiday season. Highlighted by the events we participated in that rejoiced the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, opportunities abounded for us to renew our covenants and hopes with the Lord. A time of celebration for sure. Special hymns we sang at Christmas, reminded us of His love for each of us, and our love for him.  One such hymn, Love Came Down at Christmas, was penned by Christina G. Rosetti, 1830-1894, and provided us with a unique and concise meaning of the season. From verses 1 through 3: 
 
Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, love divine; Love was born at Christmas; Star and angels gave the sign. 
 
Worship we the God-head, Love incarnate, Love divine; Worship we our Jesus, But where-with for sacred sign?
 
Love shall be our token; Love be yours and love be mine, Love to God and all men, Love for plea and gift and sign.
 
His love and grace are best felt during the Christmas season. We share such love when Christmas celebrations are united with family gatherings, special meals, gift exchanges, and for some, distant travels. Of course, it can be overwhelming. So much energy is needed to physically and emotionally appreciate and maneuver through the season. Afterward, it takes some time to regather our strength.     
 
But then what? With a new year upon us, how do we move forward? As our memory of Christmas fades, let’s renew our hope of the future that God promises. He always delivers. The birth of Jesus was the best example of such. His only son later paid our price for redemption, so we can move closer and walk with our Lord.  So much love and hope for each of us.
 
The messengers of the Old and New Testaments foretold of the gifts of His coming. In Psalms 72:5-8 King Solomon wrote …  may he endure as long as the sun, as long as the moon, through all generations. May he be like rain falling on a mowed field, like showers watering the earth. In his days may he flourish and prosperity abounds until the moon is no more. May he rule from the River (Euphrates) to the ends of the earth.  We know the outcome of this psalmist writing. In the book of Jeremiah God promised to save the remnant of Israel. In 31:8 … see, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. Israel was restored. John wrote in 1:14 … the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.   
 
His promise is to always provide us love and grace. Let’s rejoice in that certainty in 2022, and show our appreciation through our love for the Lord and for our neighbors.
 
May we carry the love and hope we feel at Christmas forward.  As we move forward, we must also remember that for some this season can bring unpleasant memories. It’s a difficult time. Let’s remember those who experience anguish and hurt and also keep our neighbors who experienced the devastation of recent tornadoes, in our thoughts and prayers.

Prayer

Our Heavenly Father thank you for this time to reflect on the love and hope you give us.  May we remember those who suffer from past experiences. Help them to realize that your love is all.  We pray also for those of our neighbors who suffered loss during the tornadoes. AMEN