Christmas Eve: Luke 2:1-20 – “The Birth of the Savior”

Mark Wheeler
Christmas Eve, December 24, 2014
Lidgerwood Presbyterian Church
Luke 2:1-20
“The Birth of the Savior”

We so deeply need what only You can offer, dear God. Fill us with faith and faithfulness. Conquer our fears and heal our hurts. Comfort us with Your Holy Spirit, that we might recognize Your light in our darkest moments. On this eve of the celebration of Your birth, we praise You with the conviction that You were born for us and for our salvation. Amen.

Finally, it is Christmas Eve! As much as I sometimes dread the harried schedules and almost anti-Christian aspects of American holidays – I love Advent and Christmas! Thank You for celebrating this day together with us!

For my first Christmas as a semi-professional pastor I worked with a collection of Presbyterian Christians in a little unincorporated town that was 99% African American. The residents of this town across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco had moved there during WWII to work in the Sausalito Shipyards, and then when the war ended these Black men were not allowed to join any of the unions and had no money to move back home (mostly to Louisiana), so they stayed in Marin City in government subsidized housing, in the wealthiest county in the nation! The church I worked in was called St. Andrew Presbyterian Church; half the congregation were African-Americans from WWII with 3rd grade educations, the other half were highly educated white doctors, lawyers, and university professors – an odd and beautiful mix of people.
I started there in June 1987 as an intern, and the church hired me to stay after my internship ended for another 2-½ years. This church had 40 people on a Sunday morning, and a choir of 7 people – but boy could they sing!
Alma Randolph, one of the senior ladies, whenever she said grace quoted from Acts 10, “Arise Peter, kill and eat. Amen.” One day “sister Alma” told me about the founding pastors of this church, seminary students in the 1950s, who told her how much Jesus loved her – and that’s all it took for her to believe!
That encounter, and several others kind of like it, always made me stop and simply admire who our God is – how powerful and how personal He is. As a white man in a suit and tie walking the streets of Marin City, 99% Black, I learned that many believed I was some sort of police officer walking my beat – then they learned that I was pastoring one of “their” churches and they suddenly warmed up to me – a little. The Gospel sometimes has a way of breaking down all the walls.
But, there was always a “wait-and-see” attitude. Wait and see what this white kid is gonna be like in this town.

Thankfully, waiting for God is over. God did, and does, show up. Jesus did come. For us and for our salvation. This truth changes everything.

Hear the Word of God from the New Testament Gospel according to Luke, 2:1-20 …. —-
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
May God bless the reading, the hearing, the receiving of His Word which never fails.

After four weeks of anticipation and waiting, Christmas is finally here. The air is so thick with excitement that we can almost taste it. And this passage is probably one of the most familiar of all Christmas accounts. Every time I read it, I’m reminded of Linus Van Pelt explaining the meaning of Christmas to Charlie Brown – not quite as high-class as Handel’s Messiah, but powerful none-the-less.

This passage contains three narratives around the birth of Jesus: The setting of Jesus’ birth itself (2:1-7), the angelic announcement of the birth (2:8-14), and the response of the shepherds to the announcement (2:15-20). In putting Jesus’ birth first in an historic context, Luke not only links Jesus to a real world political setting but also references back to the Old Testament prophecies that Jesus was a descendant of King David (cf. Micah 5:2), a very important link for the early church. As if he wants to contrast the political powers of Rome’s ruling elite — Caesar Augustus and Governor Quirinius — Luke then immediately transitions to a manger near a small inn in the tiny inconsequential village of Bethlehem: by giving a simple, straightforward account of Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem and, once in Bethlehem, how Jesus was born, wrapped in swaddling cloths, and lying in a manger in the most humble setting possible.

This idyllic setting of Jesus’ birth always reminds me of that small church in Marin City – a simple building in a small township – and Jesus was there!!!

In your own life experience, where do you mostly find Jesus? Do you look for Jesus in all the familiar places and circumstances, or do you look for him in the least likely ones?

Luke then shifts his focus to the countryside where shepherds were tending flocks by underscoring the extraordinary nature of Jesus’ birth, in depicting the angel’s announcement of it to the shepherds, and the glorifying praise by the heavenly host (2:8-14). The announcement of the angel specifically mentions three astounding titles for this humble baby to carry — Savior, Messiah, and Lord — encompassing the highest honorifics known at that time, both human and divine. This is significant because it foretells that Jesus was sent by the Father to become one of us, in order to embody for us this “good news of great joy”— to redeem us from our sins and show us the way to the Father.

In response to this “good news of great joy,” the shepherds then hurry off to see for themselves this newborn babe. They find him just as the angel has described. And after they share with everyone there what they have been told, they return “glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen” (2:20).

But, of course, the Christmas story is only half of the story: because Jesus, who was sent by God — just as the herald angel was — has also sent us into the world to share this “good news of great joy” with all people. Just as Alma Randolph told me the story of a pastor that changed her life by bringing her to Jesus all those years ago, we’re called to make an impact in other people’s lives with the love of God by telling them who Jesus is: the Son of God, who was not only born to be one of us, but suffered and died to redeem us from our sins, was raised from the dead, now sitting at the right hand of God the Father, and will one day come back to take us to be with Him forever!

As we celebrate Christmas with our loved ones this year, take a moment to reflect who Jesus is to you — Is He Savior, Messiah, and Lord of your life? If He is, are you then willing to be His messenger in sharing this “good news of great joy” with others who have never heard or experienced God’s love and forgiveness?

Resources:
Teng, Bill; “The Birth of the Savior, Glory to God in the Highest”; For Us and For Our Salvation: An Advent, Christmas and Epiphany Experience; Fellowship Community; 2014.

Fourth Sunday of Advent: Luke 1:26-55 – “Singing in the Dark”

Mark Wheeler
Advent 4, December 21, 2014
Lidgerwood Presbyterian Church
Luke 1:26-55
“Singing in the Dark”

We so deeply need the love of our heavenly Father, dear God. Fill us with faith and faithfulness. Conquer our fears and hurts. Comfort us with Your Holy Spirit, that we might recognize Your light in our darkness. Amen.

Today is the 4th Sunday of Advent. Our theme for this season, as followers of Jesus Christ, is recognizing that in the Christmas event we celebrate that Jesus was born, God was made incarnate, for us and for our salvation!
Last week our beautiful choir sang the Festival of Carols, and we were truly brought into the season of Christmas. Let’s show our appreciation, one more time, for our choir’s hard work and amazing presentation of the Gospel in Christmas!! You all were awesome! And your songs sang of the truth that Jesus was, indeed, born for us and for our salvation.

Listen to this description I read earlier this week – and see if you can’t relate to the life-condition:
“Sing a little louder Isabell, I can see you know the words.” This encouragement came from “Cowboy Bob” the volunteer Sunday afternoon entertainer at the memory unit in which my ninety-four-year-old mother-in-law resides.
“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,” Isabell sang out (a little louder) with a shy smile on her face. “You make me happy when skies are gray….” Next to me in the resident’s circle sat Isabell’s daughter with an astonished look on her face; because for most of the day, Isabell, like my mother-in-law, lives in a kind of darkness.
Not quite sure where she is, or the name or relationship of the people who speak familiarly to her, Isabell is like my mother-in-law and the other residents struggling with senile dementia.
They often worry about the details of their lives. Uncertain which room is theirs or what they had for breakfast, they spend hours looking at old photos trying to remember their husband’s name, or where they went to college. They often don’t know the appropriate responses to simple questions and fear saying the wrong thing. But for 90 minutes, while “Cowboy Bob” leads the singing, their minds become their friend again and they belt out the words with relish, “You’ll never know dear, how much I love you, please don’t take my sunshine away.”
As I left the memory unit that day, it occurred to me that in many ways, we on the “outside” of the facility also live in the midst of a great deal of darkness. We often don’t know who we are or what we should be doing. We become confused about what we believe and we wonder what God is up to in this world and in our souls. “Darkness shows us the unresolvability of things, opens up the possibility of being permanently at loose ends.”

Did you see the news about yesterday’s police officer shooting in NYC? Two cops shot in their patrol car, just sitting there. And the racial tensions in this nation. Fear. Confusion. Unresolvable nonsense. Darkness.
Have you ever encountered darkness like this? A loved one, a moment of doubt, a pressing fear – darkness. What was/is God up to?

We experience great light in the truth that God did, and does, show up. Jesus did come. For us and for our salvation. This truth changes everything.

Hear the Word of God from the New Testament Gospel according to Luke, 1:26-55 …. —-
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!” 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” 46 And Mary said: (SANG?)
“My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me–holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from age to age.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”
May God bless the reading, the hearing, the receiving of His Word which never fails.

Can you imagine the confusion and darkness Mary must have felt when the angel told her she was going to have a baby? “How will this be…since I am a virgin?” Is this really “good news.”
Yet in Mary’s darkness, as in all darkness, God offers an invitation. The angel replies, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; so the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” What will you do, Mary? How will you respond? Out of the darkness emerges a call, and Mary yields to God, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.”

On Thursday night, those who went to the Josh Snodgrass Christmas Concert heard Sarah share her story of darkness – she said how she grew up in a Christian family and cannot remember a time when she did not love Jesus. She was one of several children, and always felt a little short sheeted in the giftedness-department – all her siblings were smarter, more athletic, more artistic – and all she had was her ability to sing – so she sang all the time. She and Josh got married and thought they were headed toward a career in some kind of music-ministry. “Singing,” she said, “is who I am – that’s what I do. But in 2011 I completely lost my singing voice!” The docs told her she would never sing again!
That would be like a writer losing her imagination, or a carpenter losing his hands, or almost like a parent losing her children. Can you imagine the pain, the emptiness, the darkness?
Why would God allow this? – I know that some of you, maybe every single one of us in this room, can identify, on some level, with Sarah’s total loss of purpose, loss of identity.
I feel like I know Josh and Sarah – they’ve stayed at our house; we’ve prayed with them, made pizzas with their boys, roasted marshmallows in our fireplace; I know the end of her story (or at least the end of her story, so far) – but she had me in tears on Thursday night!
But how she finished her testimony was reminding us that in the time she was “silent” she learned that God loved her even when she couldn’t sing praise-songs; God loved her even when she was not telling Jesus how much she loved Him through her sweet soprano voice. She did not have to do anything to earn His love – except receive it! And God has miraculously brought her voice back – and she sings, even in, especially in, the darkness!

When we walk in the darkness of our soul, our way seems beyond comprehension. The impossible thing being asked of us (the sacrificial love, the unearned forgiveness, the waiting when we crave action, etc.) is the very thing we must do. “Mary, you are going to have a baby. You won’t be married, and you will need to tell your family you saw an angel…and….” Mary yielded to God, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me (which never fails) be fulfilled.”

Yielding is the starting point for trust and faith. Trust and faith are our companions in darkness. “Yielding is putting aside our self-importance, our cares, our undertakings, in order, very simply, to be with God. It is the yielding up of everything that keeps us from the Lord, letting go of anxiety and restlessness. It is the gift to him of time, the only coin we have to spend: the gift of ourselves.”

What part of your life feels dark and confused right now? As you sit with Mary’s story, what might be God’s invitation to you in the midst of your current situation?

Yielding to God in the midst of our darkness is the pathway to surrendering our life and will into God’s care. It’s easy to talk about, but very hard to do. Yet, when we accept our current circumstances and situation for what they are and yield to God’s invitation for transformation within it, we experience a glorious relief. The bondage of our desire-to-control-outcomes is relinquished. Following closely in the footsteps of yielding and surrender is the song of praise. Mary sings:
“My soul glorifies the Lord 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me–holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from age to age.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”

“Isabell,” said Cowboy Bob looking her right in the eyes. “You are beautiful when you sing.”
Can you hear the words of our Lord’s encouragement to you? When you yield to God’s call and surrender your daily life into God’s care, no matter how thick the darkness appears to you, the Lord looks you right in the eye and says, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Can you remember a time when the Lord gave you the ability to “sing in the dark”? What was going on in your life? How did your “song” sound?

As we enter into this final week of Advent and wait upon the Lord, let us listen for Mary’s song. We are not alone in the darkness. We are singing in the light with the chorus of saints, echoing the ancient night song of the Church: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Amen.

Resources:
Bettridge, Becce; “Singing in the Dark”; For Us and For Our Salvation: An Advent, Christmas and Epiphany Experience; Fellowship Community; 2014.

Griffin, Emilie; Clinging: The Experience of Prayer; Eight Day Books; Wichita, Kansas; 2003; Pp. 12, 22.

Snodgrass, Sarah; this is simply my recollection of her testimony; Sarah has not “approved” this re-telling, so there could be errors; if there are, they are all on me. Mark Wheeler

Third Sunday of Advent

Our Choir beautifully led worship today using the “Festival of Carols” cantata – sort of a sing-along lessons-and-carols cantata. Due to copyright concerns we cannot post it here – but maybe someone recorded it and posted on their page (if so, we’ll try to link you there). ‘Til next time – Happy Advent and Merry Christmas season.

Second Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 40:1-11 – “Comfort! Comfort!”

Mark Wheeler
Advent 2, December 7, 2014
Lidgerwood Presbyterian Church
Isaiah 40:1-11
“Comfort! Comfort!”

We are seeking inner-strength, dear God. Fill us with courage and steadiness. Conquer our fears and hurts. Comfort us with Your Holy Spirit, that we might recognize Your strength in our weakness. Amen.

Today is the 2nd Sunday of Advent. Our theme for this season, as followers of Jesus Christ, is recognizing that in the Christmas event we celebrate that Jesus was born, God was made incarnate, for us and for our salvation!
From the time I was very young, I have always looked forward to the days leading up to Christmas – to be honest, what I looked forward to was Christmas morning – but the days leading up to it helped build the suspense and anticipation. When I was a teenager I was introduced to George Frederic Handel’s “The Messiah”, and every time I hear it I wait for the Christmas portion of the oratorio and the sweet tenor voice singing from Isaiah 40: “Comfort ye. Comfort ye my people.”
What I really love is how the music brings Scripture to life and helps us understand that the promises of God, fulfilled in Jesus, ultimately change everything about our world.
Next week’s sing-along Christmas Cantata that our choir is leading will do that for us all!
I think we need to be reminded again and again of God’s unshakable commitments to claim this squirrely, fallen world and, ultimately make it right in ways we can’t possibly anticipate. On the surface, our Spokanite lives in 2014 are vastly different from the Jewish exiles who first heard these words. Contemporary North Americans are the first people in the history of the world to be surprised that we might have to suffer. We think we should be able to make things happen. We get antsy when we have to wait for anything. We want clear plans, quick fixes, and assurances that “somebody” in charge knows what they’re doing.
And yet, when we’re honest, we know that we are as terrified of the future as any generation before us. We are contemporary exiles in our own land—living lives impacted as much by the culture that surrounds us as our counterparts 25 centuries ago. And so, these words find resonance deep within our souls. We too need comfort. We too need assurance that God will make all things right in His time and in His way.

Paul Detterman, a Presbyterian Pastor on the team leading the charge for a movement called The Fellowship Community (Fellowship of Presbyterians) – a movement of Presbyterians who claim the Scriptures as the authoritative Word of God, that faith in Jesus as God’s only begotten Son is our only means to salvation, and that our lives and lifestyle choices should reflect that belief (this is a man I deeply respect and admire) – has written how these words from Isaiah 40 remind him of a memorable scene in The Horse and His Boy, one of the books from the Chronicles of Narnia. C. S. Lewis is telling the story of Shasta, a boy who is experiencing his own form of exile. He finds himself all alone, crying in a dark and terrifying place. He is obsessing about everything that has gone wrong in his world when, suddenly, he realizes he is not alone—some “Thing” is right beside him in the darkness (spoiler alert…):
It was pitch dark and [Shasta] could see nothing. And the Thing (or Person) was going so quietly that he could hardly hear any footfalls. What he could hear was breathing. His invisible companion seemed to breathe on a very large scale, and Shasta got the impression that it was a very large creature. And he had come to notice this breathing so gradually that he had really no idea how long it had been there. It was a horrible shock.
Shasta discovers that the “Thing” beside him knows his story—everything that was causing him terror and grief. Shasta discovers that the “Thing” had been with him all along—orchestrating all the positive outcomes he had thought were simply his own dumb luck.
“Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God…
As the scene reaches its climax, the great “Thing” turns out to be Aslan the lion (the representation of Christ in The Chronicles). The scene closes with these words:
The High King above all kings stooped towards [Shasta]. Its mane, and some strange and
solemn perfume that hung about the mane, was all around him. It touched his forehead
with its tongue. He lifted his face and their eyes met. Then instantly the pale brightness
of the mist and the fiery brightness of the Lion rolled themselves together into a swirling
glory and gathered themselves up and disappeared. [Shasta] was alone with his horse on
a grassy hillside under a blue sky. And there were birds singing.
“Comfort, comfort my people,” says your God…and the glory of the LORD will be revealed.

We take great comfort in the truth that God did, and does, show up. Jesus did come. For us and for our salvation. This truth changes everything.

Hear the Word of God from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, 40:1-11 …. —-
1 Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. 2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.
3 A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. 5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
6 A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?”
“All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. 7 The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”
9 You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem
lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!”
10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm.
See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.
11 He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.

Modern English is not always helpful. When contemporary North American people hear the word “comfort” it usually means what we hope to get when we pay good money for a great pair of shoes or a better mattress or a recliner chair. Comfort can mean the compassion of another person—the consolation of empathy and presence we receive when life is really not going well. But God is promising so much more than a passing “there, there…” or a better night’s sleep. And the enormous cost of this promised hope and comfort is not ours but His.
Comfort can also mean the promise of strength. “You can do this,” God is saying. “I understand your frustration and fear. I know your weaknesses and failings. In fact, everything that is broken within your being has been double-fortified.”
“Look around you,” God continues, “the world you see right now is about to change—you won’t even recognize the landscape. Prepare for God’s arrival! Everyone is going to see the bright glory of God!”

These words were spoken into the bleak reality of political and religious exile. Nothing was the way it was “supposed” to be. Into the dismay of that new normal came the reminder that God was not finished yet. Does that not sound like our world – and what we need to hear from God again? He is not finished yet! And He is coming … again!

Take a moment and think about your personal circumstances. Maybe jot down a word or two on your Sermon Notes page:
Where is your life darkest or most uncertain? Where are you feeling most vulnerable, least secure?

God is walking beside you, and has been for a very long time. Have you felt the “breath” of God around you?

John Calvin once said that the whole Gospel can be seen in this brief text from Isaiah. In a sense that is true, but God expects a response to the Gospel. The reality of God’s comfort (both His caring and His strength) and God’s promise of all that is yet to come is very good news. It can arouse us to live differently in our current circumstances. Where would such a change be most important in your life?

Paul the Apostle reminds us, “9 But [God] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (II Cor. 2)

Let’s take just a few minutes of quiet, listen to George Handel’s “Comfort Ye”, and ask for Christ to enter in where you most need is comfort – strength and understanding. Amen.

Resources:
Detterman, Paul; “Comfort, Comfort”; For Us and For Our Salvation: An Advent, Christmas and Epiphany Experience; Fellowship Community; 2014.
Lewis, C.S.; The Chronicles of Narnia: Book 5: The Horse and His Boy; Bles Publishers; London; 1954.