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Have you ever had simultaneous pains of panic and rushes of excitement?
I suppose it is an everyday occurrence for those of you who are sky divers,
bull riders or astronauts, but to everyday, ordinary people like me it
doesn't occur very often. This year as Thanksgiving Day faded into
Thanksgiving night I was overcome by the strange emotional cocktail that
began with the thought, Christmas is coming.
Wasn't Valentine's Day just a couple of weeks ago? Where has the
year gone? In years past, Susan and I have been finished with our
Christmas shopping before we carved the Thanksgiving turkey, but not this
year. We've done some shopping, but we're a long way from being finished
and time seems like such a precious commodity this year. I have several
trips planned before Christmas and we're in the middle of a cross town
move, so frankly, I don't know where we'll scrape together the time for
decorating, shopping or celebrating.
Last year as we packed away the tree and ornaments, I made a mental
note that I wanted to spend more time preparing myself for the next Christmas
than I have in years past. I wanted to immerse myself in the spirit
of the season and use this time of year as a spiritual catalyst to draw
nearer to God. What an exciting thought!
This new Christmas season brings with it a brand new opportunity to
marinate my soul in the depths of God's grace. To read, reread and
meditate on the scriptural narrative of how God became man, born of a virgin
to live a sinless life, die a vicarious death, return from the dead with
he keys of death, hell and the grave in His hands and ascend to heaven
to prepare to return to redeem His church.
Nothing can keep me from making this Christmas the most meaningful season
of my life. Not my schedule, budget nor my circumstances. Nothing
that is, except my attitude.
I know that carving out time for a special daily devotional that focuses
on the Christmas story might not sound as exhilarating as jumping out of
an airplane, spending eight seconds on the back of a wild beast or orbiting
around the earth, but then again, the excitement from those things fade
with time while knowing the Christ of Christmas has eternal ramifications.
Read the sermon
that corresponds to this devotional