Greetings Favored One (OK, that is NOT original 🙂
It’s the weekend sister! I can just bet some Christmas programs are on your calendar already. Is your tree sparkling? Have you purchased or at least THOUGHT ABOUT purchasing a gift or two?You may be like a few friends of mine who have their shopping done in July. Not me. My list is shorter this year as we are keeping Christmas simple and UNSTUCK! I have a few gifts in the closet, but most of my list is still in my purse.
Keeping a quiet heart is critical for me. These morning readings and devotions are blessing my heart and helping me keep things in perspective. I hope they are for you as well.
If you have an extra minute LOL–SHARE A PICTURE of your decorations or Christmas weather ON FACEBOOK!
I want to see some SNOW!! The only white I will see this weekend might be a sandy beach! (This is not a complaint but simply a statement of fact!)
Hugs and Blessings,
32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; His kingdom will never end.”
Luke 1:32-33 (NIV)
Today’s verse truly sets the tone for our Christmas celebration and remains THE “Reason for the Season” as it’s said. We have re-read and re-visited some familiar verses of the Bible over the past 8 days. Likely nothing “new” to any of us but the thing that matters is that WE have chosen to stretch ourselves, to reach higher and dig deeper for a different kind of personal Christmas this year. I pray that you, like me, have found some fresh manna in God’s word already. I have re-THUNK my thinking and remembered why I love this story and this season so very much.
The Angel Gabriel has our full attention at this point. I for one have soaked up the greeting “highly favored” and “do not be afraid.” Today as Gabriel continues his encounter with sweet Mary, his focus shifts from her state of mind and need for comfort to something, actually someone, far more important to the future of the world. I don’t know about you, but I have OFTEN had to have that “come to Jesus meeting” myself.
Gabriel shifts from “you will” to “He will” in less time than it takes to say “Merry Christmas!”
Gabriel makes a declaration that not only rocks Mary’s world, but rocks the ENTIRE world.
“He will be great. He will be a King. He will rule FOREVER!”
Say it out loud-MAY GAAS. GREAT!
If you have time for some extra reading, here is what I found in my research:
1. He will be great.
2. He will be called the Son of the Most High (cf. v. 76). The Septuagint often used the term “Most High” (hypsistou) to translate the Hebrew ‘elyôn (cf. v. 76). Mary could not have missed the significance of that terminology. The fact that her Baby was to be called the “Son of the Most High” pointed to His equality with Yahweh. In Semitic thought, a son was a “carbon copy” of his father, and the phrase “son of” was often used to refer to one who possessed his “father’s” qualities (e.g., the Heb. trans. “son of wickedness” in Ps. 89:22 [kjv] means a wicked person).
3. He will be given the throne of His father David. Jesus, as David’s descendant, will sit on David’s throne when He reigns in the Millennium (2 Sam. 7:16; Ps. 89:3-4, 28-29).
4. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever. Jesus’ reign over the nation Israel as her King will begin in the Millennium and continue on into the eternal state.
5. His kingdom will never end. These promises must have immediately reminded Mary of the promise of Yahweh to David (2 Sam. 7:13-16). David understood the prophecy as referring not only to his immediate son (Solomon) who would build the temple, but also to the future Son who would rule forever. David stated that Yahweh had spoken of the distant future (2 Sam. 7:19). Mary would have understood that the angel was speaking to her of the Messiah who had been promised for so long.
Let’s remember today friend that Jesus is GREAT!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for taking the time to comfort me as needed but also to shift my focus from my own fears and doubts to who YOU are what you promise. Father remind me often as this day and upcoming weekend goes forward that you are GREAT!!
Unstuck Family Time!
Rock Christmas with Rock Art! A GREAT, super easy decorating DIY, a blast for kids and an overall relaxing craft idea.
Grab a few rocks from your garden and spray paint them. Then draw or stencil Christmas scenes in whatever variation suits your fancy. Once they’re dry, display them in a small jar or dish.
How can you help someone feel less afraid AND “highly favored.” How can you ROCK someone’s world?
I have another revolutionary thought.: “Opposite Day.”
Let me explain…
Here’s your “come to Jesus” moment: what habits or interactions or people cause you to inwardly cringe at your own bad behavior?
Do you roll your eyes when a parent/sister/uncle calls for the 10th time in a day? Do you tend to leave dirty dishes in the sink? Do you leave the cart in the grocery store parking lot instead of walking it to the “return cart” zone? Do you lose your temper with a certain someone very easily? Do you yell at other drivers on the road?
Today is Opposite Day!!! Mull over one or two of those sketchy habits and declare that your reaction will be the exact OPPOSITE of your typical response.
I declare that today I will grab that phone with delight when my parent/sister/uncle calls me for the 10th time!
I declare, I will wash and stack every dirty dish I use. No dishes will be left in the sink for anyone else to clean up!
I declare, I will walk my little fanny right over to the cart return. I will NOT leave it next to my car where other’s may have a hard time parking!
I declare, I will exercise patience and compassion when I talk to __________________!
I declare, I will shout a joyful prayer at the driver who cuts me off on the highway instead of yell with disdain. After all, he/she may not have seen me.
Here’s to Opposite Day! Let me know how it goes:-)
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