Pastor Bob and Rochelle (2014)
If you are reading this devotion on December 25th, you have made it through the progression of all the weeks leading up to Christmas Day.
Marketers would have us begin that progression well before Halloween, working our way through a greater and greater concentration of Christmas songs on the radio and Christmas movies on the TV, until we finally make it to that goal of opening presents on that big day. And really, that is not such a bad progression. We need and want something to get excited about that is worth readying ourselves and building our excitement until that day when it all comes together.
That said, there is a very good chance that you have progressed through a whole other process as well; a much more substantive process that has touched you in ways that may very well remain with you for the rest of your life. For, you have progressed through an Advent process; a process of waiting and preparation where you have become aware of your need for the Christ Child anew in your life. And as such, you have come to really want this special gift of God in your life. And through this Advent process, you have found yourself ready and yearning the arrival of the Christ, so much so that you receive that gift with amazing and perhaps surprising celebration in your heart. And you know your days ahead will never be the same.
All of this is our Christmas hope for you. For we may be assured, that for all the good and right reasons, Christmas has the substance to never get old, to always offer something new and fresh, and to always lead us through a transformation that is positively life changing, no matter how many of them we may go through. This is because every time we allow ourselves to live that Advent progression, we become more aware of just how much we need and desire the love and action of Christ in our lives. We go deeper in our personal and spiritual preparation so that we may move closer and grow more like Christ in the way we live our lives. And with each Advent Season, we more and more look forward with greater and greater anticipation to the renewal that we experience when again we receive God’s most amazing gift of Love in the very presence of Jesus Christ in our lives.
Dear friends of this faith community we all call home, may this be a Christmas when even more of your heart receives the very manifested presence of the Christ Child anew. May that presence shine light upon even the darkest of paths, and may it fill you with Christ’s hope and love every single day of your life. Christmas blessings upon you, those you love, and all who love you.
Paul S. (2008)
God has blessed me with the ability and time to remain physically active and fit. I rarely feel closer to God than when I’m out running and enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of His creation.
Barb and Sam B. (2008)
In our lives come many gifts with the greatest being the blessings we receive throughout our lives. The greatest blessing is the promise of eternal life, which comes to us through our belief that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. As we look back over our lives, many other wonderful blessings have been given to us. For each of us there is the blessing of being raised by loving parents who instilled in us certain values that have helped us throughout our lives.
One of God’s greatest gifts is meeting and marrying a wonderful spouse. From that union, we have been blessed with a loving family. Throughout the years we have made many great friends and that is a blessing. Many of them are right here at Marble Memorial.
We are blessed with the beauty all around us with the beautiful fall colors, birds, and animals. It is also a blessing to see at Christmas time little children putting their money in the red kettles to help the needy.
At this Christmas time we extend our blessings and best wishes to each of you.
Greetings! This year's Advent devotions combine contributions from past years, interlaced with current contributions.
Introduction by the late Irma Ward, Pastor Emeritus:
"It is the prayer of those who have shared their Advent thoughts with you that this Holy Season will bring you a deepening sense of His presence. The One whose name is Emmanuel, God with Us!
Every page is personal witness of this fact, that in Christ we are encouraged, supported, comforted, challenged, forgiven, redeemed, blessed. Here are Scriptures of special meaning to persons in our fellowship; an intimate opening of hearts, a sharing of joy and pain, of promise and fulfillment. Some meditations are written by young children, others by youth and young adults, still others by mature and senior members of our fellowship. Each one reminds us we are one body, bound together in His love.
The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth, we have beheld His Glory. (John 1:14)"