Rejoice in the Names of Christ
We want to do all we can to support and help you (and us) to keep our focus on Christ during the next few weeks leading up to the celebration of His birth. We are repeating one of our favorite devotionals that Marcia Newkirk wrote for us last year. Marcia is my pastor’s wife and a very godly woman. I am blessed to call her friend. May you all be blessed!
In His Love,
We often say that Christmas is a time of wonder, especially for children. The sights, sounds, lights, aroma and music of the season add to our opportunities to celebrate. Don't let the time of preparation just be work. Worship Him as you prepare. Don't wait for Christmas day to worship; instead, let the entire month be focused and concentrated on Him. May this season of waiting and anticipating be a reminder of the hope we experience in Christ Himself. Keeping Christ as our priority and focus this Christmas should not be a chore on our "to-do" list. Instead, it should be the filter through which we look at all aspects of this month with joy and anticipation for the opportunity to praise and worship the Lord.
It is the beginning of December, so it is the perfect time to purposefully adjust our calendars, checkbooks, to-do lists, and expectations, otherwise we might be tempted to try to do it all. This will only lead to burnout by the 25th. Remember, we must not choose randomly; we are to focus our time and energy on keeping Christ as our priority this Christmas season. May everything we do be done to bring glory and honor to Him. In light of that, let's consider and celebrate some of the names of Christ. Scripture calls Him the Light, Immanuel, Messiah, Jesus, Savior, King of kings, Lord of lords, Morning Star, Shepherd, the Vine, Living Water, the Rock, Christ, Prince of Peace, Everlasting Father, Friend, and many others. Use one or more names this week as you prepare for the upcoming celebrations. Enrich your day by writing out a name or two and praying that name be alive and representative of your relationship with Him. The names and titles of Jesus were written to express His nature, His character, and His purpose. By concentrating and remembering these names, we come to know and experience Him better. We can perceive and live in His love and the reality of His presence in our life each day, but especially this month as we prepare to worship at Christmas. May you experience His love afresh and anew as you worship Him.
Reflectively read the words of a favorite 4th century prayer known as St. Patrick's breastplate:
Christ be beside me, Christ be before me, Christ is behind me, King of my heart; Christ be within me, Christ be below me, Christ be above me, never to part.
Christ on my right hand, Christ on my left hand, Christ all around me, shield in the strife; Christ in my sleeping, Christ in my sitting, Christ in my rising, light of my life.
Christ be beside me, Christ be before me, Christ be behind me, King of my heart; Christ be within me, Christ be below me, Christ be above me, never to part.
Putting it into Practice:
~May we keep the thought of Christ before us in the coming weeks as we prepare to honor and celebrate His birth very soon.
~Pray that this year your celebrations be a literal feast of peace, hope, love and joy because in Him we can experience all this and more. No matter what you face in life, God is near. He is real. He is alive.
~Let us celebrate Him as we prepare for Christmas.
We will love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, all our strength and love our neighbor as ourselves as we prepare our hearts for the holidays. Based on Mark 12:30-31.
By Marcia Newkirk