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The Spirit of Christmas

What is the “Christmas spirit”? What puts us in it? Is it the lights or the tree and its decorations? The gifts, goodies or Christmas songs? Maybe dropping some change into the bell ringer’s red bucket or bringing cookies to a neighbor? While all of these things are wonderful facets of the Christmas season, they are merely external.
Have we allowed the real, in-dwelling “Spirit of Christmas” to shape our thinking? The Holy Spirit came upon Mary, the power of the Most High overshadowed her and the Son of God was conceived within her. This miracle of our God: the Prince of Heaven, uncontainable in glory and splendor, matchless in worth, beauty and power, was wrapped in frailty to bring us the message of reconciliation! The angel’s message to the shepherds was the proclamation of salvation:
“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord!” Luke 2:10
The shepherds- known as thieves, social outcasts, despised and unreliable, were the first to hear of God’s great mercy! The Holy Spirit led them to rejoice at seeing Christ in the manger and they returned to their flocks glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen! In this little baby dwelt all the fullness of God-matchless power, yet, gentle mercy too.
God was reconciling the world to Himself by giving the great Gift of His only Son to become sin for us in order that He could give us His righteousness. This incredible exchange is made possible only by the Holy Spirit. When the He redeems us, we are given the gift of salvation and the ministry of reconciliation. This Christmas, let’s be filled with the Spirit of Christmas, the Holy Spirit, and boldly proclaim the salvation of our God in word and deed!

Posted by Mary S. with

Who Believed

“And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” Luke 1:45

In our haste to get to the birth of Jesus in Luke 2, we sometimes fast forward through Luke 1. But there’s a tender exchange between relatives Elizabeth and Mary that’s not to be missed.

Picture the scene: Mary, a young Jewish woman, has just learned (angel encounter!) that God has chosen her to give birth to His own Son, Jesus. She goes “with haste” to the hill country to see Elizabeth, who is also pregnant. At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s unborn baby (John the Baptist) leaps for joy, and Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit.

Elizabeth blesses Mary and marvels at the blessing that Mary, “the mother of my Lord,” should come to visit her. She tells Mary about her baby’s stirring inside her and then says to Mary: “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Let these words be our affirmation today. For blessed are we, too, when we believe that there will be a fulfilment of what the Lord has spoken. His word is full of promises, and they are to be believed. He is to be believed.

Then we will echo Mary’s prayer of gratitude: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant … for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name” (Luke 1:46-49).

Posted by Joan S. with

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