Advent – Christmas

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Botticelli (Sandro Filipepi) ca. 1445 – 1510

The Birth of Christ

“Unto you the Child is born,

On this blessed Christmas morn.

Unto you, to be your peace;

Unto you, for He hath found you;

Unto you, with full release,

From the weary chains that bound you:

Unto you that you may rise

Unto Him above the skies.”

… Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879), The Poetical Works of Frances Ridley Havergal, New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1888, p. 166

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Advent – Day Twenty-Two

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“Christ is God’s complete word to men; He has nothing to say which has not been said in Christ … the Word which became incarnate in Jesus Christ … has been recorded for us in Holy Writ. The Spirit of God, who spoke by the prophets and apostles, still speaks to us through their words and thus bears witness to Christ, the perfect revelation of God.”

… F. F. Bruce (1910-1990), The Apostolic Defense of the Gospel, London: Inter- Varsity Press, 1959, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1959, p. 81

Advent – Day Twenty-One

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“I would very earnestly ask you to check your conception of Christ, the image of Him which as a Christian you hold in your mind, with the actual revealed Person who can be seen and studied in action in the pages of the Gospels. It may be of some value to hold in our minds a bundle of assorted ideals to influence and control our conduct. But surely we need to be very careful before we give that “bundle” the name of Jesus Christ the Son of God.”

… J. B. Phillips (1906-1982), When God was Man, London: Lutterworth Press:, 1954, p. 8

Advent – Day Nineteen

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“God is merciful and has promised in Jeremiah 31 (five hundred years before Christ) that someday he would do something new. He would replace shadows with the Reality of the Messiah. And he would powerfully move into our lives and write his will on our hearts so that we are not constrained from outside but are willing from inside to love him and trust him and follow him.

That would be the greatest salvation imaginable — if God should offer us the greatest Reality in the universe to enjoy and then move in us to see to it that we could enjoy it with the greatest freedom and joy possible. That would be a Christmas gift worth singing about.”

– John Piper, Good News of Great Joy, pgs. 35,36

Advent – Day Eighteen

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A reminder that Christmas represents the truth that not only is God WITH us, but He is also FOR us.

You have kept count of my tossings;
    put my tears in your bottle.
    Are they not in your book?
Then my enemies will turn back
    in the day when I call.
    This I know, that God is for me.
 In God, whose word I praise,
    in the Lord, whose word I praise,
 in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
    What can man do to me?

Psalm 56:8-11 (ESV)

Advent – Day Seventeen

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“So here we are again, a few billion miles farther along our mysterious path among the immensities. What a comfort it is to know the Man in charge of it all. Without Him, it would be easy to think that the whole of time and space, and life itself, are without reason, purpose, or meaning—as H. G. Wells said, that it is “a bad joke beyond our understanding, a flare of vulgarity, an empty laugh braying across the mysteries.” With Jesus forever between God and us, we can understand a few things, and trust Him for the rest. After all, He is one of us: a baby once, as we all were; then, and forever after, a Man, as we all shall always be.”

Robert MacColl Adams (1913-1985), letter [1981]

Advent – Day Sixteen

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“When the song of the angels is stilled,When the star in the sky is gone,When the kings and princes are home,When the shepherds are back with their flock,The work of Christmas begins:

To find the lost,

To heal the broken,

To feed the hungry,

To release the prisoner,

To rebuild the nations,

To bring peace among people,

To make music in the heart.

Howard Thurman (1899-1981), The Mood of Christmas, Friends United Press, 1985, p. 23