Happy Sunday Friends! At the beginning of March, I said this would be a month of madness, but I did not realize how crazy the world would become so quickly. I have tried to keep current events out of this blog, but with all that happened this week, I do think it is important to remind everyone who we are and who we serve, and today’s devotion just happens to touch on that as well. We live in a time of great peril. A new respiratory infection is so powerful it’s sweeping around the world and despite all our advances in medicine, still manages to kill many (which just happened to be something I could see coming almost seven years ago when I wrote The Savannah Syndrome). A cold front sweeps across the southern United States and we see a tornado march through downtown Nashville and once in a lifetime flooding in Georgia. All of these are stark reminders of our place here on Earth. God is still in control of everything. Depending on your faith, these events can look scary and bring extreme anxiety, but if you know the Bible, and you truly, truly understand what the Bible teaches, all of this, while tragic, is all part of the story. And, as a Christian, we know how the story ends. The story ends with the return of our glorious King and the salvation of all His children. I hope that happens in my lifetime, because I would hate to see how bad Earth will get if Jesus doesn’t come back soon. But isn’t that what every generation says as they have watched society fall further and further away from God?
So today I share a powerful anthem that was brought to my attention just this morning. It is a blessing I pray over all of you for the week ahead, so that Jesus and His Heavenly Host will watch over you and your family in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14”Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:13-14)
One of my all-time favorite Christmas album is “Merry Christmas to You” by Sidewalk Prophets. The song “What a Glorious Night” includes the scene from A Charlie Brown Christmas where Linus quotes these lines from the verses above. That song and many others paint a wonderful picture of this eternal scene. But the one song I reference year after year to give me the ultimate visual of the night the fate of mankind changed forever is Brandon Heath’s Just a Girl. In that song Heath tells the story of the Inn Keeper that turns away two strangers, “two gypsies begging at the door.” Every line in Heath’s song is poetic and powerful, the chorus progresses from Mary being “just a girl,” to the Inn Keeper seeing the crying baby, “just a babe, just minutes old, trembling there in the hay.” The lines that move me the most every year are these:
“Just a King, just a million angels crowding into see,
Jesus there among humanity.”
A million angels. Probably even more than that. That’s what Luke means when he says the “heavenly host appeared with the angel.” That’s the visual I picture every Christmas, millions of angels crowding the sky to see Jesus, the newborn baby. What a glorious scene of that glorious night!
Jesus came to live among humanity as an innocent babe. Now He sits at the right side of the throne of God, with billions of Angels kneeling, ready to serve their King, Jesus. These are the warriors ready to fight for you each and every day. Give your life to Jesus and gain the only Army you will ever need to protect you from disease, dread, and destruction.
Reading plan: Luke 6
Deeper reading plan: The Book of Ruth (yes, one book in one day… It’s only 4 chapters, in my Bible it’s only four pages long. I told you the Old Testament gets a lot easier to read once you power through the first five books.)
Prayer and meditation: continue to pray for your request from day 1 and continue to thank God for the miracle of Jesus.
Fitness challenge: Rest
Worship/Journal: What do you visualize when you think of that first night when Jesus was born? Write about it and how you can help others realize the true importance of Christmas.