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Clare writes inspirational romance, usually of a suspenseful nature. Her books are available through her publisher Pelican Book Group and Amazon. She is married with three kids and lives in the UK. She loves watching sci-fi, crime drama, cross stitching, reading and baking.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Christmas Eve Devotion - Pastor Michael Duncan

’Tis the Season

As I look out the window I am surrounded by a forest of icicles. Clear crystal spires hang like ornaments from the eaves and endear the house with a magical aura. Even the grey clouds and quiet hour bring a sublime tranquility to this beautiful season. But soon the calm serenity will be overcome by a wealth of laughter and sounds of joy as families and friends join together to celebrate the birth of the King.

There is nothing like Christmas. Lights and tinsel, songs and parties, friendships abound and good will is offered to all who know the delights of the season. Despite the sense of busyness, there is a wonderful peace that fills the atmosphere. Yet, in this season, with all the trappings and festivities that fill our time, the actual meaning of Christmas might get lost. So, in these brief moments, I hope to take you back to Bethlehem and invite you to join with shepherds and wise men and seek the One who was born to be the Savior.

The clear night air shimmered with stars as shepherds maintained vigilance over the flocks in their care. A crisp breeze gently wafted across the hills surrounding the village of Bethlehem and no one imagined what was coming next…

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “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. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
~ Luke 2:9-14 (ESV)

This message came not by some secretive, covert messenger. This was no subtle whisper on a darkened night. No, with the glory of heaven as their background, the entirety of the heavenly host burst upon the scene and pronounced with boldness the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ!

So what are the shepherds to do? What would you do? With resolute purpose the shepherds set out for the city of Bethlehem and found it to be exactly as spoken by the angel. This longing from the shepherds is echoed in the heart of all who have believed the message concerning Jesus. The passion and desire to be in the presence of the One about whom angels testify is felt no greater than at this time of year when we celebrate our Savior’s birth.

Perhaps your sense of God’s presence is dimmed. Perhaps the true nature of why we celebrate this festival has waned in the onslaught of the commercial rush. There is no better time than now and there is no better way to renew your faith than to be as the shepherds and determine with unwavering passion to seek for the One who was born to be King.

What an honor and privilege to know the true meaning of Christmas. What grace! What love! He who is holy sent His only begotten Son into this fallen, sinful world to be the hope for all mankind. The great gift of Christmas is Jesus; and the greatest gift you can give to anyone is the love that has been given to you—the love of God in Christ.

Let us take time to remember the Lord Jesus Christ for whose sake we truly celebrate. As the wise men from the east, let us worship HIM who is born King. Like the shepherds of Israel, let us proclaim HIM to everyone. May the lights of the season remind you of the Light of the world; may the presents under the tree remind you of the Person given for you; and may the festivities of the day remind you of the festival that awaits all who are found in Christ. I pray that this season of Christmas bring you peace through our Lord Jesus.

Faithfully Yours,
Michael Duncan

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