The season of hope

Hannah the Angel

Image by Andy Wilkes via Flickr

“But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’” (Matthew 1:20-21)

The children paraded out in their brightly colored costumes. There were angels, shepherds, wise men, a lamb, a star, and Mary and Joseph. The children were reenacting the Christmas story for their parents and friends. The ministry these children are involved in is called Kids Hope. I want to say though that hope was given to the adults as they watched their children perform. Sometimes it is hard to believe the true message of God that is delivered to us in many ways such as the Bible, prayer, through people (including children), and situations.

One message that many have a hard time accepting is that God truly loves them. God’s love is not like what the world offers…it is so much better. God’s love was displayed through the event in the relationships formed over the years, the children enjoying the cookies they decorated, the crafts made, the games played, the food served, the groceries donated, gifts given and the pictures taken. There was no doubt of God’s presence at the event and of his great love.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for always loving us. It is demonstrated every day, and I pray that I can accept your message of love and apply it to my life so that I can demonstrate you love to others. Amen

Faith Tip: Believe that God truly loves you. Take note of the way he shows you his love today.

Calm your anxious heart

Mary and Baby Jesus

Image by Scott Schram via Flickr

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled . . . (John 14:27)

Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year—well, it can be anyway. It really depends on where we focus. It seems to get so busy and sometimes chaotic that we tend to lose sight of the fact that we are celebrating Christ. Our minds get so filled with what we have to do, or is it what others expect us to do? Relationship issues seem to heighten this time of year. Depression may set in and we have lost the joy meant for us…Christ’s abundant joy.

What we need is a silent night type of Christmas. In our minds, we need to sit around the manger and wonder. What does this little baby truly mean to me? Does he make a difference in my life? May I hold him?

Jesus gave us the special gift of his peace. Don’t accept the imitation that the world offers. Calm your worried heart with what Jesus gives to you with his love.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the wonderful gift of your peace. I pray that I can keep my focus on the manger. It has made a difference to me. Amen

Faith tip: Discern what you are stressed about this Christmas and make the choice to bring that situation to the cross and leave it there. Then go sit by the manger for awhile.

Baby gifts

a mother now

Image by ailatan via Flickr

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well (1 John 5:1).

Seeing a new baby always gives hope as the new life has so many possibilities. They are so delicate, yet there is strength from inside that makes them want to survive and to grow. Babies are a wonderful gift not only to a family, but really to all of us as we relate to them. Each person is so valuable and has something to offer.

This Christmas, think about the hope in the gift of Jesus. Imagine yourself sitting by the manger looking upon him and wondering about the talents he will have, his character and personality, and the promise of God read by the prophets. Meditate on the little baby given to us to save a world.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the precious gift of Jesus. I pray that I can unwrap the gift again anew this season. God came to us as a baby. Amen

Faith Tip: Slow down the Christmas chaos and reflect on God’s goodness of Jesus.