CHRISTMAS DAY, 2022
Today I turned the last page of the Advent devotional I’ve been studying. Opened the last gift from the Advent calendar. The waiting has ended—Christmas has arrived.
I would like to share with you a devotional by Charles H. Spurgeon. Spurgeon lived in England from 1834-1892. He was a pastor and an author. This devotional is one from a book called “Faith’s Checkbook.” Each day, one of God’s promises is discussed, as a check given to us by God. Will we accept it and cash it?
Merry Christmas. May God bless us, every one.
He Came; He Is Coming
This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven ( Acts 1:11 )
Many are celebrating our Lord’s first coming this day; let us turn our thoughts to the promise of His second coming. This is as sure as the first advent, and derives a great measure of its certainty from it. He who came as a lowly man to serve will assuredly come to take the reward of His service. He who came to suffer will not be slow in coming to reign.
This is our glorious hope, for we shall share His joy. Today we are in our concealment and humiliation, even as He was while here below; but when He cometh it will be our manifestation, even as it will be His revelation. Dead saints shall live at His appearing. The slandered and despised shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Then shall the saints appear as kings and priests, and the days of their mourning shall be ended. The long rest and inconceivable splendor of the millennial reign will be an abundant recompense for the ages of witnessing and warring.
Oh, that the Lord would come! He is coming! He is on the road and traveling quickly. The sound of His approach should be as music to our hearts! Ring out, ye bells of hope!
THE FOURTH WEEK OF ADVENT
O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant
O come, ye, o come ye, to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him, born the King of angels.
O come let us adore Him,
O come let us adore Him,
O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.
This is the last week of Advent. Next Sunday, the anticipation will be over—Christmas will have arrived.
Of course, we’ve been anticipating Christmas through TV and other media since before Halloween. It seems “Christmas” appears in stores and in entertainment earlier and earlier. By the time the day itself arrives, it’s almost anticlimactic.
We who are followers of Jesus Christ wait for His second advent. No one knows the day or hour Jesus will return. Scripture tells of various signs and events that must take place before His return. Jesus Himself simply tells us, “Watch.”
Lord, help us to not become desensitized to You. Let us keep You in our hearts every day. Let us wake up each day to come and adore You, Christ the Lord. Amen.
THE THIRD WEEK OF ADVENT
I live in central Texas. Right now the temperature is 71 degrees. It’s clear and sunny. Though there are a lot of leaves on the ground, there are still leaves on the trees. Sunset will be about 5:30 this evening.
Last week we went through a cold spell. It was cloudy and dark every day, as if the sun was in hiding. With the heavy cloud cover, everything looked dreary. It was enough to dampen anyone’s spirits.
Ages ago, in colder climates, with the days growing shorter and shorter, people began bringing evergreen boughs into their houses. The holly, fir, or spruce reminded them that, though winter seemed unending, there was still hope of better times to come.
We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in the winter because His birth brings us hope. Because of His resurrection, He is ever-green—alive eternally. He is also the light of the world, which shines in our hearts no matter the season.
John 1:4-5 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.
THE SECOND WEEK OF ADVENT
Consider the songs O Holy Night and Silent Night. Both create a scene of the Nativity, the birth of Jesus.
O Holy night—the stars are brightly shining, it is the night of the dear Savior’s birth.
Silent night. Holy night. All is calm, all is bright, ‘round yon virgin mother and child.
Truly, a night like no other before or since.
John 1:14 The Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . .
Jesus, the Son of God, was born and lived among us. He left footprints on the earth. He lived, died, was buried and resurrected. Jesus will come again, a second Advent.
Revelation 20:3 Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look, God’s dwelling is with humanity, and he will live with them. They will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them and will be their God.
As we prepare our hearts in celebration of the first advent of Christ, let us also prepare our hearts for the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior, when He will make everything new.
THE FIRST WEEK OF ADVENT
What Child is This by William Dix
What Child is this, who, laid to rest,
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
It is significant that the question “What Child is this?” is answered “This is Christ, the King.” In our human systems, a newborn child might be a prince or the heir to the throne, but Jesus was born Lord and King. Even before He was born, He was called Lord.
Luke 1:41-43 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she exclaimed with a loud cry: “Blessed are you among women, and your child will be blessed! How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
As a child, Jesus was recognized as King of the Jews
Matthew 2:1-2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star at its rising and have come to worship him.”
This first week of Advent, let us meditate on the lordship of Jesus Christ.