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Listen while you read: "Lo How A Rose"1 (Lyrics)

How few of us have ever tasted the bitterness of war or stared despairingly into the empty cup of poverty — though some might suffer minor bruising as shoppers edge to the front lines of overcrowded megastores, or experience cramped fingers from ordering online due to pandemic closures. In the end, any Black Friday savings appear to justify shopping carts overflowing in unnecessary extravagance!

Every year, I feel this uneasy pang. I bury it quickly, not wanting to dampen the spirits of those I love and cherish. But witnessing consumers racking up credit card debt leaves me feeling ashamed.

For this, a child was born? I ask myself. The Christ of Christmas?

If only we could journey back to Bethlehem and join the shepherds as they hastened to have a glimpse of the promised Messiah. If only we could experience first-hand the awe and great joy that Immanuel had come, as foretold:

Isaiah 7:14 – Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (KJV)

No tinsel or glitz decorated the lowly stable where livestock were kept. A feeding trough lined with hay held the Prince of Peace.

    The Christmas spirit does not shine out in the Christian snob. For the Christmas spirit is the spirit of those who, like their Master, live their whole lives on the principle of making themselves poor — spending and being spent — to enrich their fellowmen, giving time, trouble, care, and concern to do good to others — and not just their own friends — in whatever way there seems need. – J.I. Packer, Knowing God

While most of us have not tasted war or poverty, we are obviously a society starving for peace! Let us ask for the gift of humility this Christmas season and celebrate the forgotten miracle of Christ's birth, born of a virgin.

Isaiah 9:6 – For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (KJV)

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, may our hearts be filled with joy and peace as we celebrate the birth of Your Son, Immanuel, this Christmas. Forgive us for those times when the world seduces us with material things, leaving the miracle of Jesus' birth forgotten. Instead, may Your gift of love always be first in our hearts and first to be shared. Lord, thank You for the gifts of hope, peace, joy, and love that You sent to Bethlehem on that first Christmas. Amen.

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About the author:

Lois Macdonald <loismacs5@gmail.com>
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the encouraging word, Lois.


    A timely message and AMEN to your prayer.


    So true and a great reminder. Thanks Lois! God bless!


    Thank you, Lois. Good encouragement and greatly needed by our society.


    Yes Lois,
    JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON.
    (CA)


    You have written a lovely and well put devotional. There are many types of starvation as you have expressed. Thank you for your contribution.


    Hello Lois
    What a beautiful and meaningful message this was today. Thank you for sharing.
    God bless.


    Hello Lois.
    Very good words to be mindful of – Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. Precious gifts from our loving Lord.
    Thank you so much for writing today’s devotional.
    (B.C.)


    Dear Lois,
    Forgotten miracle indeed. I get perturbed about all the non-Christian activities at this time of the year. It is good to be reminded that we should never forget the reason for the Season.
    Thank you for your good words.


    Your encouragement to return to Christ as the real gift of Christmas came just as I finished wrapping a few packages to mail. Years ago, we left the hustle and bustle of secular Christmas to the joy and peace of the gospel. Nonetheless, I relaxed even deeper as I read your devotion. Blessings to your work in Jesus name.


    I was touched by your writing today. It’s a little late this year, but a group of us are reading through an inspiring little book “Remarkable Advent” by Shaunna Letelier and finding refreshment for this season. The author takes us into the lives of the familiar characters, living their lives as they must have been then. We are transported to the places in a very vivid way, watching their everyday lives.
    Thanks again for your valuable reflections.
    (BC)


    Dear Lois,
    So many of us feel this way as we age. Different things become important to us as we have more time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. As we pray with you, may we guide others to not be seduced and feel the miracle of Christmas in our hearts. I think the virus will make Christmas simpler for many people, and that the joy of the true meaning of Christmas will be shared more with others.
    As we pray with you this morning, hope grows in my heart that many will remember that we are saved because Jesus came to die for our sins. May the Light of the Lord shine brightly. Blessings.


    Very well said.

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