Christmas Day


Luke 2:10-14

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 Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you;  ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, 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, good will toward men. 



Christmas !

The first moments of Christmas Day  and I am remembering the services at the church in Magnolia, DE where we welcomed Christmas with the bell ringing out at midnight.

Families were encouraged to bring their children in their PJ’s so they would be ready for bed. There was a loose format. The Holy Spirit seemed to have a surprise for us each year. One year our pianist and organist were both sick and a gentleman from New York City who had performed on Broadway came and played the piano and sang for the service. Another year it was family members from out of town who added to our service. But always Rick would play his guitar and sing “Christmas In The Trenches” and the choir would sing “Whisper” as a gift to me. Oh how I loved that service.

Tonight I am a thousand miles away in Missouri. I am greeting Christmas in my living room. I can enjoy Rick on YouTube but sadly, I cannot find the song “Whisper” anywhere on the internet. But I can hear them in my heart.

Thank You, LORD,  for the people who have blessed my life over the years.

Thank You for the miracle of Christmas, God in human flesh, come to earth to live among us, to teach us how to live, to die for our sin, to conquer death and rise from the grave, to make it possible for us to have a relationship with our Creator. Praise God!



We light this Christ Candle in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. May Christ be birthed within us this day, that we may be witnesses of His coming. O God, grant that His light may shine through us, and that the world will come to the Light.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen His glory.                [John14a]

The Fourth Sunday Of Advent

For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given;

and the government shall be upon His shoulder;

and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,

The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end,

upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom,

to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice

from henceforth even for ever.

The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.                                  Isaiah 9:6-7





Last Sunday I wrote of joy:

My joy is not dependent upon my circumstances

but instead comes from my relationship with my Creator,

and that never changes.

God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.


The same must be said of peace.

My peace is not the absence of conflict

but the presence of my LORD

and He is with me always.



My father died last spring,

a friend in Delaware is mourning the death of her husband this fall

while yet another is grieving the death of her son.

On Thursday we suffered the loss of a dear friend and neighbor.

So how do we celebrate Christmas in the midst of such hurting?

Where is our peace?


For me it is in God’s Word.



Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee;

because he trusteth in Thee.                          Isaiah 26:3


I am reminded that God is my peace and I choose to trust in Him.


And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

And My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;                                           Isaiah 32:17-18


O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! Then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.     Isaiah 48:18


I choose Christ,

I choose to live under God’s law.

I choose to submit to the leading of His Holy Spirit.

Therefore God is my peace.


And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.                            Philippians 4:7


As I write this the snow is falling

– a perfect beginning for the morning of Christmas Eve.

We will attend a worship service and praise the LORD.

I will give thanks

for those whose lives have touched and blessed mine in some way

and who are no longer with us.


A father who did not know the LORD

but was an example to me of what a father should be.

Because of his love for me

I was not afraid to trust in my heavenly Father.


A man I never met who brought joy to the life of my friend.


A young man

whom I had the privilege of knowing as a child in our church

and watching grow into a man, a husband, and a father.


A friend and neighbor who cared for our critters

when we traveled to Delaware for visits with family.

Who came with his wife

and spent the morning harvesting our corn crop – by hand.

Who sat on our front porch eating fried chicken –

sharing food and stories.


I will remember these lives that have touched mine and I will have peace

– a peace that is not based on my circumstances –

a peace comes from trusting in God.


Jesus said it best –


Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you;

not as the world giveth, give I unto you.

Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.     John 14:27


My prayer for you this last Sunday of Advent:


The LORD lift us His countenance upon thee and give thee peace.

Numbers 6:26


We light this candle as a symbol of the Prince of Peace.

May the visitation of Your Holy Spirit, O God, make us ready for the coming of Jesus, our hope and our joy.

O come, O come, Emmamuel.

The Third Sunday Of Advent

And the ransomed of the LORD shall return,

And come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads:

They shall come obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Isaiah 35:10




Marva J. Dawn writes in her book Joy In Our Weakness, “Joy is the deep sense of God’s sustaining Presence, the realization that divine light is greater than any darkness that might temporarily assail us. Thus, Joy does not mean “happiness,” which is dependent upon human circumstances.”

My joy is not dependent upon my circumstances but instead comes from my relationship with my Creator, and that never changes. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

In these days of much uncertainty there is one thing for certain, and that is the God we serve.

What brings you JOY?

For me it is my family –


Including our furry ones –



The breaking of a new day –



The setting of the sun –


That first crop of spring – Asparagus!


Our church family –


As you light the third candle – the candle of JOY –  let us remember that because Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, walked this earth in human form experiencing everything we experience, died on a cross at Calvary, rose from the grave defeating death, and now sits at the right hand of God our Father, we are redeemed. We live in the Joy of the Lord for Christ is our JOY!


But let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice: let them ever shout for JOY, because Thou defendest them: let them also that love Thy name be joyful in Thee.

                                                                                                            Psalm 5:11


Thou wilt show me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of JOY;

 at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.



Rejoice in the LORD always; and again I say, REJOICE.

                                                                                                Philippians 4:4


These things have I spoken unto you,

that My JOY might remain in you,

 and that your JOY might be full.

John 15:11



We light this candle as a symbol of Christ our JOY.

May the joyful promise of Your presence, O God,

make us rejoice in our hope of salvation.

O come, O come, Emmanuel.


The Second Sunday Of Advent





The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in the prophets,

Behold, I send my messenger before thy face,

      which shall prepare thy way before thee.

The voice of one crying in the wilderness,

          Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

John did baptize in the wilderness,

     and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.   Mark 1:1-4



The baptism of repentance – do these words make you uncomfortable?

Repentance admits I cannot do it on my own.

Repentance says I am a sinner and only by surrendering my life to God can Christ be formed in me by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Repentance lays it all at the foot of the cross.




Oswald Chambers writes :

The entrance into the Kingdom is through the panging pains of repentance crashing into a man’s respectable goodness; then the Holy Ghost, Who produces these agonies, begins the formation of the Son of God in the life. The new life will manifest itself in unconscious holiness, never the other way about. The bedrock of Christianity is repentance.

From-My Utmost For His Highest


There is only one way – Jesus Christ –  and that requires repentance.

God has given us His Word in the scriptures and they are our roadmap.

God has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us along the way.

Spend time in prayer and Bible study.

Equip yourself for your journey.



We light this candle as a symbol of Christ The Way.

May the Word sent from God through the prophets lead us to the way of salvation which is Jesus Christ.

O come, O come, Emanuel.


The First Sunday of Advent



Isaiah 60:2-3

Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people:                    but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.


We light this candle as a symbol of Christ our Hope.

May the light sent from God shine in the darkness to show us the way of salvation.

O come, O come, Emanuel!






A life lived with Jesus Christ

That is my HOPE

That is not a “maybe . . . someday . . . somehow . . . wisp of a dream”

NO it is a “God said it and I believe it” certainty in my life.

And so on this first Sunday of Advent I light the candle of HOPE.

I celebrate by remembering that time long, long, ago when God chose a newly betrothed couple to be parents. God chose Joseph, a compassionate man, a hard working carpenter, a man obedient to the Holy Spirit, to be His earthly father; to teach Him and guide Him through His childhood. God chose Mary, a young lady with a heart to serve. Even though she was young she accepted the role God had chosen for her. She risked censure from her family, her friends and neighbors to bear a child. Not just any child but God wrapped in humanity.

God with eyes and ears, fingers and toes, skin and bones, a belly button and nose!

Immanuel – God with us.

But we must not fragment God.

We cannot accept the baby Jesus without also accepting the man who walked this earth, ate with sinners, healed the sick, fed the hungry, brought living water to the thirsty, and challenged those who talked faith but did not live it. The man who suffered and died on a cross so that others might find life.

While we are listening to songs about the baby Jesus I would suggest a song by the Gaithers about the One who died for you. “Then Came The Morning.”

They all walked away, nothing to say
They’d just lost their dearest friend
All that He said, now He was dead
So this was the way it would end

The dreams they had dreamed were not what they’d seemed
Now that He was dead and gone
The garden, the jail, the hammer, the nail
How could a night be so long?

Then came the morning
Night turned into day
The stone was rolled away
Hope rose with the dawn

Then came the morning
Shadows vanished before the sun
Death had lost and life had won
For morning had come

The angel, the star, the kings from afar
The wedding, the water, the wine
Now it was done, they’d taken her Son
Wasted before His time

She knew it was true, she’d watched Him die too
She’d heard them call Him just a man
But deep in her heart she knew from the start
Somehow her Son would live again

Then came the morning
Night turned into day
The stone was rolled away
Hope rose with the dawn

Then came the morning
Shadows vanished before the sun
Death had lost and life had won
For morning had come


So while we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the ministry of Jesus, the death and resurrection of Jesus, let us not forget the promise of Jesus’ return.

This time He will not come as a helpless baby but as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

The first time He came quietly, almost unnoticed.

But not so His return.