Join the festival, let your light shine!

wordswag_1512563279180.pngThe rain was chill, the night dark as I drove home last night from a visit in the hospital. Fatigue made me long for the living room and relaxation until  . . .  I started to note the homes lit up with Christmas lights!  White lights in their simplicity, bright colored lights with their eye catching dazzle, simple strings along a fence, elaborate displays that covered a whole house – with each one I smiled and started to sing along with the carols on Sirius™ radio.  Yes, I laughed out loud at the displays that were in questionable taste – big, inflatable Santas, a forest of plastic ‘candy canes’ in a front yard, but it was a moment of realization.  The world is celebrating.

Do all know the reason for the Season? Probably not.  It is true that for many it is an feast of consumerism. For others it is just a time of excess of spending, and food, and drink.  And yet among all the clutter there are nativity scenes and invitations to “come and adore Him, born the King of Angels!”

So, here is what I am going to do – I am going to join the festival of light and as the kid’s song says, I’m gonna let my light shine!  I want to take some extra care to see the ‘invisible’ people that surround us and try to make them feel respected, alive.  I am going to pause to praise the King with more intention. I will worship in Advent services with my whole being.   I’ll let a little light shine in my personal mission for this month to wish everybody a “Merry Christmas” and a “God bless you” from the heart.  Care to join me?

Let’s not just decorate our houses. With a child-like wonder and a deliberate choice for joy, let’s enter into the celebration. Those shepherds in old Bethlehem heard radiant angels sing and heard an announcement., There was a decision they made that caused them to become participants in the wonder. “That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” When the angels had returned to heaven, … “ What if they had just shrugged, looked at each coolly, and said, “That was something,” and let it pass?

 They stirred themselves!  “the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.” (Luke 2:8-16, NLT)

Celebrate! Worship! Welcome the Lord’s coming.

This is a word from the Word. “Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The Lord has spoken!” (Isaiah 40:3-5, NLT)
______________________

O Little Town Of Bethlehem (Saint Louis)

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight 

For Christ is born of Mary
And gathered all above
While mortals sleep
The angels keep their watch of wondering love
O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth
And praises sing to God the King
And peace to men on earth 

How silently how silently
The wondrous gift is given
So God imparts to human hearts\
The blessings of His heaven
No ear may hear His coming
But in this world of sin
Where meek souls will receive Him still
The dear Christ enters in

 O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born in us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel

 Lewis Henry Redner | Phillips Brooks

© Words: Public Domain

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