A Christmas Carol By Christina Georgina Rossetti

A Christmas Carol By Christina Georgina Rossetti

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him,
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty
Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him whom cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk
And a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
Which adore.

Angels and archangels
May have gathered there.
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air,
But only His mother
In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part, –
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart

Tidings Of Great Joy For All

Tidings Of Great Joy For All

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, behold, and angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which is to be to all people.”–Luke 2:8-10

Everyone likes to receive good news. At times, when it seems as though the entire world is against you, a little good news can turn your day around. When it does come, we, upon occasion, tend to be a bit skeptical or even a little afraid that it is a mistake. Sometimes, we even expect bad news based solely on the messenger’s appearance.

Imagine you are a shepherd in the hills outside of Bethlehem. The night is cold and you stand with your back to a warm fire. Nearby, the sheep have settled down for the night. Perhaps your cheeks are cold, but you know turning toward the fire will leave the sheep vulnerable to predators. A fellow shepherd hands you a loaf of bread; you tear off a piece then pass it back. This is how your night always goes.

Suddenly, the night becomes as bright as day. You drop your bread as you grab your shepherd’s staff, ready for whatever. When the light fades, an angel stands in front of you. While growing up, you heard the tales—handed down through the generations—about angels. While they all brought important messages from God, not all angelic visits had happy endings. Fear grips you, so you drop to your knees. The angel looks at you. Your heart begins to beat wildly when he opens his mouth to speak.

“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which is to be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

The angel came to you, a lowly shepherd, to proclaim the birth of a child to you. He is saying this baby is a part of you. The angel did not say the baby was born to Mary and Joseph, share in their joy; he said it was born to YOU. He goes on to say this isn’t just any child, this is Christ the Lord, the Savior…your Savior. A host of emotions overwhelm you. “But 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, goodwill toward men!”

Then, the angel is gone as quick as he appeared. The light fades while night returns. Someone remembers the sheep; you look and they seem undisturbed by what just happened. You and the other shepherds begin to talk. Someone (perhaps it is you) says, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”

You go with haste and find Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in the manger. When you see Him lying there, you begin to tell of the angel and the heavenly host and all that happened to you in the field. You begin to tell anyone who will listen. And when it is time to leave, you do so praising and glorifying God.

How is that for receiving good news?

However, you can’t speak of the Birth without speaking of the Death, Burial, and the Resurrection. Just after Jesus’ resurrection, He gives His disciples the “Great Commission.” In Mark 16:15 we read, “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

The world is full of shepherds, each with his or her own flock. Some have flocks filled with sadness and lonely memories of days gone by, while anger or regret fills others. There are those who tend addictions, while others keep constant watch over sickness. They all have two things in common. The first is that they are bound to their flocks; the second is that they need some good news. They need to know that a Savior was born to them.

Many will be afraid to leave their flocks, their addictions, their sorrows, and their sickness. Tell them that if they let God become their shepherd, they can find the peace He has waiting for them. Tell them they don’t have to be afraid, you have good tidings of great joy.

A Christmas Carol By William Topaz McGonagall

A Christmas Carol By William Topaz McGonagall

Welcome, sweet Christmas, blest be the morn
That Christ our Saviour was born!
Earth’s Redeemer, to save us from all danger,
And, as the Holy Record tells, born in a manger.

Chorus —

Then ring, ring, Christmas bells,
Till your sweet music o’er the kingdom swells,
To warn the people to respect the morn
That Christ their Saviour was born.

The snow was on the ground when Christ was born,
And the Virgin Mary His mother felt very forlorn
As she lay in a horse’s stall at a roadside inn,
Till Christ our Saviour was born to free us from sin.

Oh! think of the Virgin Mary as she lay
In a lowly stable on a bed of hay,
And angels watching O’er her till Christ was born,
Therefore all the people should respect Christmas morn.

The way to respect Christmas time
Is not by drinking whisky or wine,
But to sing praises to God on Christmas morn,
The time that Jesus Christ His Son was born;

Whom He sent into the world to save sinners from hell
And by believing in Him in heaven we’ll dwell;
Then blest be the morn that Christ was born,
Who can save us from hell, death, and scorn.

Then he warned, and respect the Saviour dear,
And treat with less respect the New Year,
And respect always the blessed morn
That Christ our Saviour was born.

For each new morn to the Christian is dear,
As well as the morn of the New Year,
And he thanks God for the light of each new morn.
Especially the morn that Christ was born.

Therefore, good people, be warned in time,
And on Christmas morn don’t get drunk with wine
But praise God above on Christmas morn,
Who sent His Son to save us from hell and scorn.

There the heavenly babe He lay
In a stall among a lot of hay,
While the Angel Host by Bethlehem
Sang a beautiful and heavenly anthem.

Christmas time ought to be held most dear,
Much more so than the New Year,
Because that’s the time that Christ was born,
Therefore respect Christmas morn.

And let the rich be kind to the poor,
And think of the hardships they do endure,
Who are neither clothed nor fed,
And Many without a blanket to their bed.

Saturday Evening Prayer For November 26

Saturday Evening Prayer For November 26

Heavenly Father. I come to You this evening, as I have done every Saturday for months, but I am struggling to find the words to say. How can I pray with an unfocused mind? Touch my heart and my mind so the words will come. Help me to reclaim the joy that seems to be just out of reach while I pray. With Thanksgiving weekend coming to a close and the Christmas season beginning, break me apart and remove all bitterness. Remake my heart as a vessel capable of holding only love and joy.

With gratitude, I pray each week, Lord, humbled by those who continue to visit. May the prayers I pray, the poems and quotes I share, and the lessons I teach all be to uplift others. Guide me in all I say or do while I uplift and praise Your name. Let all I say or do be in love.

There might be those tonight, or over the next few days or weeks, who read this prayer and know what I am going through, bless them. If their focus is distracted by everything going on around them, let us hear Your voice. Put that verse in our minds, or that song on the radio, and remind us that You are still in control.

Let my prayer—the prayers of all who are struggling to find joy this season—find Your ear. Remind us that just because our hearts don’t see the joy we crave, it, and You, are still here. Strengthen us, bear us up, put our names on the hearts of others that they might lift us up in prayer; assure us that sorrow is only temporary. Let us hold to Your promise that while it may not seem like it at times,  joy does come in the morning.

Be with us throughout the coming week. Put a hedge around us so we might overcome—through You—whatever has stolen our joy. Lead us, guide us, and keep us. In the name of Jesus I humbly pray. Amen.