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December 2020

Comfort

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I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It's not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love. — Linus Van Pelt

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, ESV)

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. ... A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord.” (Isaiah 40:1, 3, NIV)

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:8-14, KJV)


This Tree (a poem)

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This Tree (a poem)
by Ryan M. Roberts

This is a picture of our Christmas tree,
and it may be, that it means nothing to you,
but to me . . .

It was adorned by hands that I love, love, love,
and is topped by a star of promise from above.

The ornaments that fill the branches and boughs,
hold stories that range from then until now.

They are memories of God’s faithful hand in our lives,
they tell of His goodness and keep Hope alive.

The lights that shine brightly into the night,
remind us it's time for joy and delight.

The wondrous sight of our Christmas tree,
calls to mind words the angel said unto me,

"This day is born a Savior—Jesus your Lord,
who paid a price for you, that none could afford."

So, when I look at our tree, I see Jesus in all,
I hear “Come unto me” and harken His call.

This is a picture of our Christmas tree,
And it may be, that it means nothing to you,
But to me . . .


Gifts

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When the Magi saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:10-11, ESV)

There were three things prefigured and promised by the gifts in the cave in Bethlehem concerning the Child who received them; that He would be crowned like a King; that He should be worshipped like a God; and that He should die like a man. And these things would sound like Eastern flattery, were it not for the third.

                                                                            — G.K. Chesterton

Strange are the gifts that the Wise Men bring
To so small a Child, to so strange a King.
Sovereign gold, but his brow was torn
When they hailed him King, with a crown of thorn;
Frankincense, that they might provide
Perpetual praise to a God who died;
But none so strange as the myrrh they gave
To anoint the clothes of a three-day grave.
                            — Timothy Dudley-Smith

Jesus was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. (1 Corinthians 15:4, NLT)


Companionship

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We are all upon an unknown road, and for everybody the next step is in the mist. …The knowledge of the future path really matters nothing: the perception of the present companionship matters everything! — J. H. Jowett

There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24, ESV)

The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.

                                                            — Elisabeth Elliot

My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. (Exodus 33:14, NIV)

Let him who walks in darkness and has no light trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. (Isaiah 50:10, ESV)


Cheer

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I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. — Scrooge

I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. (Luke 2:10, ESV)


Heaven overflows with good will toward men! Our God not only wishes good, He wills it! “He gave His only begotten Son,” as the sacred expression of His infinite good will. He has good will toward thee and me, and mine and thine. Let that holy thought make our Christmas cheer. —J.H. Jowett

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, NLT)


Silence

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Before the Gospel is a word, it is silence. … It is life with the sound turned off so that for a moment or two you can experience it not in terms of the words you make it bearable by, but for the unutterable mystery that it is. — Frederick Buechner

When the Lamb broke the seventh seal on the scroll, there was silence throughout heaven for about half an hour. (Revelation 8:1, NIV)


Silence is large enough to contain every emotion. — David Wolfe

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth. (Isaiah 53:7, NASB)


Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight!
Glories stream from heaven afar;
Heavenly hosts sing Al-le-lu-ia!
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born! — Fr. Joseph Mohr

Be silent, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world. (Psalm 46:10, NLT)