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Friday, December 26, 2008
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"Glorifying The Lord"
"My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is His name" (Luke 1:46-49).
Note: Brooksyne primarily wrote today's message.
I had the role of planning and leading our Christmas Eve service. In the beginning I invited the little children to come forward to the manger setting on the platform to play the role of the shepherds, Joseph, and Mary. A three year old visitor, without hesitation, came forward and at my invitation she sat down on Mary's three legged stool right next to Baby Jesus in the manger. Three year old Tirza immediately marched right up the steps behind her. She reached right into the manger to remove Baby Jesus and she lovingly cuddled him throughout the song, "Away in a Manger." The congregation found this impromptu live nativity to be a charming event!
Following the service I was stepping down the steps on the platform when I met little Tirza with the absolute intention of climbing the big people steps to make her way back to the wooden stool we had set up earlier for Mary. She sat right down on the stool and once again lifted Baby Jesus out of the manger and gave Him tender love and attention. This time no one was looking on. In fact the people left pretty quickly so they could get to other Christmas Eve activities. That got me to thinking.
Tirza didn't want the role of Mary so others could watch her and whisper, "Isn't she adorable!" She took her position after others left because that's where her heart remained during the entire service. We had an abundance of Scripture narration, Christmas carols, Pastor's meditation, Communion, and the Candle Lighting service but Tirza must have been thinking of Baby Jesus lying there in a manger all by Himself while we were busy with all the other Christmas Eve activities.
Her innocent childlike affection for the newborn babe is a lesson for all of us who get busy with the multitude of the season's activities but we unintentionally leave Baby Jesus all alone in His manger. Our love and affection can be shown to Him by reading His Word and endearing it to our heart and, like Mary, though she didn't understand everything she was told chose to "treasure up all these things and ponder them in her heart" (Luke 2:19).
We are at the dawn of a new year where we're often challenged to make New Year's resolutions. In this New Year I want to challenge you to treasure your relationship with Christ just as little Tirza treasured Baby Jesus. Don't leave your Bible on a shelf only to be pulled down when others might take notice as you go to church. Read it daily, ponder its meaning for your life, search for hidden truths and most especially apply the message to your heart. Hopefully your Bible will show plenty of wear, not because of abuse but because of daily usage.
It is through the faithful reading of Scripture and daily prayer that we will be able to rejoice and proclaim just like Mary, "The Mighty One has done great things for me – Holy is His name."
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Father, we confess that it is often easier to be busy about Your kingdom than it is to sit at the feet of the King. Intensify our desire to set aside a segment of each day to be a sacred time with You so that we faithfully read Your Holy Word and prayerfully commune with You. It is in communion with You that we grow in our love and devotion and we become mindful of the great things You do for us. You are the Mighty One who is at work in our lives – Your name is holy. Amen.
Additional Note: Lu, who is in on the decorating committee, had placed the manger in a corner near the nursery over the past weeks. When she prepared to bring it out for the manger scene Christmas Eve she told me that she noticed how Baby Jesus had been rearranged in his bed. My guess is that little Tirza had been caring for the baby while others had simply filed past taking little notice. No wonder she felt that she had a right to be caring for this Christ child when the manger was finally brought out for all to see on Christmas Eve!
Following our Christmas Eve service we joined our friends Stan and Deb Miller along with others for a time of fellowship in their 1800's farmhouse near Manheim, Pennsylvania.
One last time this year we would like to share with all our readers the link to our online 2008 Weber Christmas newsletter.
Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources(Click on the link to open and play. In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)
"Away In A Manger" Video
"Mary Did You Know" Audio
"We All Bow Down" (Audio) A beautiful song of surrender and worship. The words and music have a way of transcending us from the present to the majestic presence of God Himself as we bow before Him. Winners, losers, rich and poor, all of equal value and so precious in the heart of the Father.
"We Bow Down" (Audio)
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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