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Archive for December 2008

12th Day of Christmas: Lullaby for a Savior

SONG:
Close your eyes in the dark of this night
midst the rustling of angel flight,
under the stars I have set to illumine
Your first fleeting moments of being human.
Rest in the arms that You have created,
though divine thoughts for now are faded,
stilled by the moment of redemption begun,
covered with the swaddling of flesh and bone.

Sleep, my Beloved, in silent, trusting peace
knowing not the things yet to be.
But, somewhere in your soul, in deep infant thought,
may You embrace the plan in love I have wrought.

Hush now, my Son, the lips that one day
will teach my people and proclaim the Way.
Dry the tears that soon will flow free
for a generation with eyes that can’t see.
Still, dear One, the hands that years hence
will heal the blind, and lepers cleanse.
Rest, precious Child, the feet that will grow
to walk a hill, salvation to bestow.

Sleep, my Child, and let Your thoughts deepen,
for the dreams You are dreaming are memories of heaven –
Visions of glory, of light, of truth.
Time will reawaken the diety in You.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the heavens
the angels were silent in anticipation.
For centuries they had waited for such a special flight,
and now it would happen this very night.

In the throne room the Father talked with His Son
of dreams and desires and what was to come.
“My Son, I’ve loved them since breathing their life,
and for years they’ve suffered with sin and strife.
Now it’s time to offer them relief,
for the groan of their sorrow is more than I can take.”

“Oh, Father, I’ve begun to feel their yearning
even before I take my journey.
The weight of their burden is heavy on my back.
I can almost feel the sting of their attacks.
Inside me the sadness of leaving burns,
but, Father, I can bring them when I return.”

“Yes, we’ll be united with our bride.
She’ll no longer have a reason to hide.
And, you’ll return to me, this I know.
But now, my love, You must go.
Gabriel!  Come!  Assemble your band.
For the birth of My Son is now at hand.”

With the stroke of His hand He split the sky.
As He watched the departure He heaved a sigh,
for He knew the sin His Son would endure
and the punishment of death–His suffering was sure.
But, this night all of heaven would rejoice
as they hailed the mystery of the Master’s choice
to limit Himself to the form of a babe
to bring reunion with those He would save.
So as He dripped a star from His fingertips
praises rang from the angels’ lips,
but the Father was quiet, a tear on His cheek
from the painful price required for peace.
And, from the joy He saw in ages to come,
when all His children would join Him at home.

So this night before Christmas as you drift to sleep,
and He sends His hosts with protection and peace,
may you keep His love for you well in sight,
and Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

11th Day of Christmas: Song of Fulfillment

SCENE:
And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon… And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.  And he came by the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou has prepared before the face of all people, a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. (Luke 2:25-32)

SYNTAX:
Fulfill.
to measure up to satisfy; to bring to an end, 
Complete 

SONG:
For hundreds of years prophets foretold
that a Savior would come to save our souls.
He would be a king, mighty and strong.
Glory and power to Him would belong.
The government would rest on Him,
and He would deliver us all from sin.
In His kingdom sorrow would cease,
an everlasting Father, the prince of peace.

Today I’ve seen him, though just a babe,
the One, the Messiah who’s come to save.
My heart leaped within me when I saw the child,
the One I’ve been waiting for all my life.
Of all the accomplishments, my work, my faith,
my life’s greatest hope has been realized today.
And whatever hence my life may yield,
thank you that I could see your promise fulfilled.

10th Day of Christmas: Song of Wonder

mother_child-12 SCENE:
Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:19)

SYNTAX:
Wonder.
to have feelings 
of awe or admiration,
Marvel

SONG:

I wonder what kind of boy He will be.
Will He enjoy running and climbing trees?
I wonder what will be His favorite toy
or game He will play with other boys.

I wonder what plans God has in store
to accomplish His purpose with this little boy.
Will He be loved and accepted by men?
Even as a child, will they know who He is?
Will He be a king, mighty to save?
Will He be a prophet, pointing the way?
To the task, years of kings and prophets weren’t equal.
So, what will it take to save His people?

I wonder holding Him in my arms,
will I be able to keep Him from harm?
It’s what parents hope in a world of strife
but, Lord I trust You to guard His life.

 

SEARCH:
I have been so intrigued by Mary this Christmas season.  Maybe it’s because Baby Girl is almost 4 months old, and I guess I’m a little more reflective this year than I was when Squiggle was an infant during the holidays.  I’ve really been trying to identify with Mary as a mother and not just as the religious icon she’s come to be today.  The angel’s message about the child she would carry must have been both awe-inspiring and overwhelming all at once.  I’m sure she was like all mothers, full of hopes and dreams for her little bundle of joy.  

It’s a huge stretch of the imagination to consider Jesus as a boy, playing with friends, running and jumping, and giving hugs like my boys do.  The Bible doesn’t tell us much about His childhood, and I suppose we are so conditioned to think about Him as the teacher and healer revealed in the New Testament that we forget He actually did grow up.  He learned to crawl and walk and talk like all babies do.  I’m sure Mary looked at him with the same eyes full of wonder and heart overflowing with love that I use when I see my children.  What did she think of the angel’s declaration that He would be God’s Son and that His kingdom would have no end?  How did she imagine it would come to pass as the years went by?  Did she share the experience with Him?  Did she forget about it?  Did she have an inkling of what it meant? I’m sure she cringed the same way I do at the thought of them every being hurt or alone or broken.

And yet, He was hurt and left alone and broken. No doubt the scene she saw standing at the foot of the cross as she watched her beloved dying was far from her wildest ponderings on the night of His birth.  I can hardly bear to even think of the sorrow she must have born–there to the end as He made such a great sacrifice for her and all mankind.  We’re not told, but I hope she saw Him that Sunday morning three days later.  I hope she touched Him and kissed Him again.  I hope she saw the fruition of God’s blessing on her womb.  I’m certain she sees Him now–her son and Savior.

9th Day of Christmas: Song of the Seekers

jar2-11 SCENE:
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying “Where is He that is born King of the Jews, for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him.”…And lo, the star which they saw in the east went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. (Matthew 2:1-2, 9)

SYNTAX:
Seek.
to try to locate or discover; search for; to endeavor to obtain or 
Reach 

SONG:
We’ve travelled far, seeking to find,
and now this night God provided a sign
to show us the way to the King of Kings,
the Son of God, salvation He brings.
We’ve come bearing gifts to present to the One
who means that a lifetime of searching is done.
But, all the wisdom and riches we hold
can never compare to the Savior we behold.

Praise to the Father who’s true to His word
that the one who asks will always be heard.
Rejoice in the babe for all mankind,
and the promise that all who seek Him will find.

 

SEARCH:
How compassionate our God is that we are not left to wander–that an answer is ready for those who ask and a journey’s end is ready for those who seek.  It is interesting to me how God revealed Himself to the Magi.  They were apparently watching the skies.  I read in The Miracle of Christmas by John MacArthur that the “wise men” were likely astronomy and astrology practitioners, trying to determine or understand events of the day–not exactly a view of the stars (or a method of gaining understanding) that God would approve.  And yet, we see o what great lengths the Father will go to capture our attention.  He will even meet us in a place He doesn’t want to be, even when we’re searching in the wrong place.  God put an intriguing star in the sky to pique the interests of a bunch of astrologers in order introduce them to His Son, the Savior of the world.

I wonder how many others saw the star and just moved on to other things.  These men had seeking hearts, hearts that God had already prepared for a new discovery.  Maybe they were tired of the old ways.  Regardless, they came ready to find something extraordinary.  They came ready to worship before they even knew who they would find.

8th Day of Christmas: Song of His Brightness

star-10

SONG:
Star light, star bright
the brightest star seen tonight
never can attain such light
as the babe born this night.

Sun shines, by design,
but n’er as bright as this Son’s shine
beaming through the dark, a sign
that brings salvation to mankind.

Hailed by glorious angel flight
child so bright with heaven’s sight
shine into our souls this night.
Dispel the darkness.  Give us light.

7th Day of Christmas: Song in the Heavens

SCENE:
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, good will toward men.”  (Luke 2:13-14)

SYNTAX:
Heavens.
the sky or universe as seen from the earth, firmament; the abode of God and the 
Angels

angel2-91

SONG:

Gabriel! Come.  Assemble your band,
for the birth of My Son is now at hand.
Harmonies layered with the brush of wings
as each cherubim and seraphim sings.

Glorious! Glorious!  Make your praise glorious
with every refrain made more melodious
by the sound of all creatures, the heavens and the earth
pounding in praise of His miraculous birth.

Myriads and myriads of angels sound
the joyous news that peace has been found
in the babe, God’s Son, and brought to all men.
Glory to God in the highest, AMEN!

6th Day of Christmas: Song of the Forgotten

staff-8 SCENE:
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, “Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord.”  (Luke 2:8-16)

SYNTAX:
Forget.
to lack concern for;
Neglect
to leave behind unintentionally, to fail to mention

SONG:
We spend our nights on hills, forgotten by the world.
That’s why we were frightened and amazed by what we heard.
That night in Bethlehem, a Savior born most precious,
and the angel came to us as if we were special.

The prophets call You mighty and a prince of peace,
but You were in a stable, a place built for sheep.
How strange to be born surrounded by straw and hay,
and laid in a manger where sheep and cattle graze.

The angel said You came to be a Savior for all mankind.
But sometimes being a shepherd means you get left behind.
We’re thankful You weren’t born in a palace to a queen,
for in a stable even shepherds can come and be received.

 

SEARCH:
I’ve often heard that even if I were the only one, Jesus would have still come to earth.  Little Drummer Boy and I read it just the other day in God Gave Us Christmas, a great little polar bear story about what Christmas means by Lisa Tawn Bergren.  When I look at the angel’s message, it’s interesting that he said “For unto YOU is born….”  Not unto mankind.  Not unto all the good little boys and girls.  Not unto just the rich and famous.  Unto YOU.  It bears notice that noone was forgotten at the foot of that rough-hewn trough.  Not the night shift.  Not the scented animal keepers.  Not the dirty.  Not the working class.  In fact, Jesus’ first night as a part of mankind was spent in a place where those shepherds could be perfectly at ease.

The foot of the manger and the cross are both equal opportunity real estate.  All bended knees welcome. I suggest to check out real estate closing lombard where you will find the best real estate deals.

5th Day of Christmas: Song of the Babe

manger-7 SONG:
It’s my first time to see the dark of night.
So, this is what the underside of stars look like.
My very first tear and the feeling of cold –
how odd that my body will actually grow.

My first few feelings of being human
are the same but different from what I imagined.
I know this body in intricate detail,
but, my knowing of the Father is different – I can tell.

Heaven looks hazy and faded from below,
but, inside a deep seeking, a longing to know.
It must be man’s emptiness, the one I will  fill,
when I become their Savior and all their sins heal.

 

SEARCH:
How are the diety of God and the frailty of man resolved in the flesh of one tiny babe?  What was it like for the One who made the world to be born into it?  Was His vision of heaven the same from within our firmament?  What was it like for the Light of the World to look into the dark night sky for the first time? Was His “knowing” of God, His Father, different after taking on human flesh?  Did He sense the human longing for God?  Through infant tears, did He remember what it was like to rest in the perfect peace of the Father’s bosom?  Mighty God.  Infant God.

4th Day of Christmas: Song of the Crowded

stable-6 SCENE:
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed… And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; because he was of the house and lineage of David.  To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.  And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him  in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.  (Luke 2:1, 3-7)

SYNTAX:
Crowd.
to press, cram, or force tightly together,
to put
Pressure on 

SONG:
Running, bumping, pushing and shoving
Busy, busy, everyone is rushing.
So many visitors in Bethlehem  that night,
but, something was strange about this family’s blight.
We didn’t have a room, but he was quite insistent.
Imagine traveling in that condition –
a young man and his wife about to deliver.
She was already cold and starting to shiver.

The inn was all full, not a single bed open.
I know that our stable was not what they were hoping.
My wife and I helped her when it was time for the birth,
and she bore the pain bravely, for the babe had more worth.
They watched Him for hours, seeing something almost wise,
like they saw the face of God when they looked into His eyes.
I never would have believed in the bustle of that night
that we would find such stillness in a tiny infant’s light.

The others without time to wonder what they missed
didn’t see the face that tears had barely kissed,
but, we were reluctant witnesses to an evening filled with awe,
and the busy-ness of our hearts was stilled by what we saw.

 

SEARCH:
Born in a barn.  How odd.  There, in an animal stall with it’s hay and manure, it was not exactly a scene that commanded attention.  And, by our estimation, it was not a scene fit for a Baby King.  I’ve been in barns.  I wouldn’t want to lay my Baby Girl there.  Yet, by God’s estimation, it was the chosen spot.  The Sovereign Babe had been crowded out by so many other travelers, busy about their tasks.  The Savior of the world had arrived, and there was “no room in the inn.”

A good friend sent me some comments on my recent dignity post, and they really resonated with my hopes for this season.  It was another reminder to pay “intense” attention in our homes so that the important messages aren’t crowded out.  “It is so easy to get caught up in the endless urgency of mothering and miss the quiet, yet intensely important moments,” she said (you know who you are My Fair Lamb–“composition-challenged?” Harumph!)  Truth revealed.  Don’t we live in a world of “endless urgency?”  Each activity, mode of entertainment, and work task is vying to be heard above the din.  Each voice is screaming to be louder than the next.  Especially at Christmas time, our schedules are filled with events and to-dos clamouring to get to the top of our priority list.  Quietness is sometimes lost.   The moment, the experience, the person that is not able or willing to shout is sometimes lost.  As Karol Ladd wrote in her book, The Power of a Positive Mom, the most important thing (or person) is not always the one screaming the loudest.

Mary’s moment of pregnant urgency crashed head-on into Bethlehem’s bulging flow of urgent travelers.  Who knew that the Christ child was about to be born?  No doubt if there had been an ad placed in the Bethlehem Times announcing “New King Born Tonight – Free Drinks,” many would have lined up for tickets.  If a media consultant had sent flyers promising “New King Campaign Rally — Featured Speaker: Joe the Carpenter, t-shirts and bumper stickers for sale, sponsorships available,” many would have raised their signs and cheered.  If the local talk show had announced “Virgin Birth — Live on Monday — Vote for a boy or girl in our on-line poll,” millions would have tuned in.

But, God did not choose to clothe Himself in flesh that way.  Salvation was not designed to be a spectacle.  The God of the universe does not desire to compete to be seen or heard.  No wonder His birth assembled such an odd blend of worshippers.  I hope I would have been one of them.  I hope I’ll choose to be one of them now, this day, this afternoon.

His birth calls me to be still.  Listen.  See.

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