Ring the Bells!

© Jeanne E Webster – All rights reserved

Luke 2:15-16 “And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, ‘Let us now go even unto Bethlehem and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.’ And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe was lying in a manger.” (KJV)

Ring the bells! We have a New Year presented to us by Almighty God! 

May You renew our hearts and minds, O heavenly Father, that we might see more clearly the things that are from You and may we give You thanks. Amen!

As the shepherds sought out the Christ-child with haste, let us do likewise. God has made Himself known to us.  The Holy Spirit dwells within us. We have opened the door to our hearts and Christ has come in!

Throughout this New Year let us get reacquainted with this Christ, our Savior, this Person Who lives within our hearts.  We are all getting older; some of us are older, older! Yet we can still walk and talk with Jesus. He reminds us daily of His peace, joy, and love. Whether we lie on beds of painful affliction or can no longer hear well enough to listen to a sermon, He is still there. If we would only drop the worn and tattered garment of SELF, we would see more clearly His blessings.

He is in the family member who comes to cheer us, the caring friend who greets us with a big smile, the letter or card from someone who has thought of us. The good hot meals we eat every day, the sunrise each morning, the air we breathe, the song of the bird outside our window… in everything that ministers to us each and every day, He is there!

“In everything…give thanks.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

~Shalom  

Christmas—Plain and Simple

©2010 Jeanne E Webster – All rights reserved

 

The bells are ringing, people singing
It’s Christmas time again
The hustle and bustle begins a-winging
Over the minds of men.

Think back to the time of our Lord’s birth
The angels proclaimed on high
No bells and people shopping on earth
Just a little baby’s cry.

Shepherds and wise men came to worship
This tiny newborn king
No endless, mindless shopping trip
To buy some inane thing.

Let’s keep the day of Christ-mas holy
A sacred spiritual day
A Child was born in a manger lowly
And a King was born this day.

Let’s call the “Santa” day of giving
A warm, salacious way
Of spreading cheer and robust living:
Let’s call it “Gifting Day!”

Christ-mas Day, on the other hand,
Is one of introspection
The celebration of a feast so grand
It’s the Spirit’s redirection!

Come, let us reason together, I say
Enjoy your Gifting Day
I’m of the mind to give thanks and pray
On this my Christ-mas Day.

 

Are You Ready?

©Jeanne E Webster  –  all rights reserved

 

Are you ready for Christmas? I guess that depends on what I mean by “Christmas.”

Is your shopping done? Have you gotten all the gifts on your list?  If not, you’re not ready for Christmas. It takes quite an organized person to bring this about so early in the season. You still have two weeks to shop, select necessary items, make catalog purchases, order gifts online, and perhaps have time remaining to gift wrap, package, ship out, then take a deep breath of relief. You’ve got it all in hand. You’ve done your duty, to family and friends.

On the other hand…are you ready for Christmas? Are you ready to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ?

No shopping list needed, no gifts to buy, no weeks of shopping ahead, no hurrying and scurrying here and there in a frantic rush amid the masses. All you need is an open heart and a listening ear.

Do you hear the music? Listen…with your heart and spirit:

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O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie;

Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.

Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;

The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

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For Christ is born of Mary; and gathered all above,

While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.

O morning stars together proclaim the holy birth;

And praises sing to God the King, and peace to men on earth.

 

How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given!

So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His heaven.

No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin,

Where meek souls will receive Him, still the dear Christ enters in.

 

O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;

Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.

We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;

O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel. Amen

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Father, we celebrate the birth of your Son, Jesus Christ…

Your Heavenly gift to us so long ago on that dark night in Bethlehem town. No one heard His coming as Mary gave birth in a lowly manger. The angels heralded the news to meek souls below, as they told us that a Savior was born, which was Christ our Lord. As we sing praises and glory to you this Christmas day, we give thanks for this precious Child, our King. Come into our hearts, abide with us, O Lord, be born in us today! In His dear name we pray, amen.

Are you truly ready for Christmas? May we join together and say a heartfelt amen to that. AMEN!

`

Christmas Day–Plain and Simple

© 2017 Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved

The bells are ringing, people singing
It’s Christmas time again
The hustle and bustle begins a-winging
Over the minds of men.

Think back to the time of our Lord’s birth
The angels proclaimed on high
No bells and people shopping on earth
Just a little baby’s cry.

Shepherds and wise men came to worship
This tiny newborn king
No endless, mindless shopping trip
To buy some inane thing.

Let’s keep the day of Christ-mas holy
A sacred spiritual day
A Child was born in a manger lowly
And a King was born this day.

Let’s call the “Santa” day of giving
A warm, salacious way
Of spreading cheer and robust living:
Let’s call it “Gifting Day!”

Christ-mas Day, on the other hand,
Is one of introspection
The celebration of a feast so grand
It’s the Spirit’s redirection!

Come, let us reason together, I say
Enjoy your Gifting Day
I’m of the mind to give thanks and pray
On this my Christ-mas Day.

 

O Spread the Good News!

© Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved

Excited faces glowed as the shepherd boys scurried to the place where the angels had told them a babe had been born.  This babe was Christ the Lord, the Savior of the world.   I wonder what their thoughts were as they approached the manger where this babe lay.  I’ve tried to plunk myself into their place as they stood looking upon this newly born baby.  How could this little one be the Savior, the Christ?   He’s just a plain baby.  No, the angels had told them this was Christ the Lord.  A Savior?  Yes!

What awe must have filled their hearts!  Did they merely nod to Mary and Joseph, or did they tell them the angels’ story?   Did they bow low as they walked to the manger? Did they reach in and touch his hand?  Did they gaze into the eyes of their Lord in wonder? Did the Babe smile at their bewildered stares?  Oh, my…the wonder of it all.  I just can’t take it in.

There is a song that filled my spirit as I pondered all this:   Heaven Came Down and Glory Filled My Soul.  I know this melody is meant for repentance and redeeming grace, but I think my heart would have felt these words as I looked down upon this baby boy in wonderment, trying to take it all in… especially the first verse and beginning of the chorus.

“O what a wonderful, wonderful day – day I will never forget;
After I’d wandered in darkness away, Jesus my Savior I met.
O what a tender, compassionate friend – He met the need of my heart;
Shadows dispelling, With joy I am telling, He made all the darkness depart.

Heaven came down and glory filled my soul! ”

`

I love Christmas!  It’s the grandest birthday party we’ll ever attend!

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace and goodwill to mankind. 

Amen”

Hope of Heaven

cross2

Hope of Heaven

© Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved

 

Silent night . . . holy night . . .

The kingly head that was crowned with thorns

Once lay in a manger, sleeping,

Tenderly caressed by His mother, Mary.

 

O Come Emmanuel . . .

The hands that were cruelly nailed to the cross

Once healed thousands by His gentle touch,

Mercifully bestowed through His Father.

 

Amazing grace . . . how sweet the sound . . .

Those feet so harshly hammered to the wood

Once walked the sands of time for 33 years,

Presenting the hope of heaven

…to all mankind.

 

Just as I am . . . without one plea . . .

Oh Lamb of God, I come

I come!

white rose 

 

Come and See!

nativity

 

 

© 2010 Jeanne E Webster.  All rights reserved

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“O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie…”

Plodding into the small city, Joseph and Mary sought shelter after their week-long trek from Nazareth. It was census time; registration was mandatory. It was also an important time in their personal lives.   Mary was about to give birth to their first-born child. Unable to find room in a lodging house, the exhausted couple found succor in a mundane animal shed, and under a silent night sky, the Christ child was born.

“For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above, while mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love…”

An angel suddenly appeared in the night sky to a group of shepherds tending their sheep. Though deeply frightened, they listened to the “good tidings of great joy.” Moments later a myriad of angels hovered above them, praising God and declaring, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”

The shepherds hurried to the manger to worship this “Savior,” to see firsthand this babe who was “Christ the Lord.” They returned to their flocks glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen in the still of that night.

“O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray; cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today.”

 

Come, our Lord Emmanuel, come into our hearts this day.   Open our ears so we too may hear the wonderful news from on high, “Behold I bring you tidings of great joy…for unto you is born this day…a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”   May we take this into our hearts as a personal invitation– a Gift with our name on it– a blessing we sorely need.

Like Mary and Joseph, we have been on an arduous journey and have found no lodging for our weary souls. Yet . . . out of the stillness of this Nativity night, may we find solace and rest in Your wondrous message:

“O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel.”

Amen.

[Words in italics taken from “O Little Town of Bethlehem” written by Phillip Brooks; scripture from Luke 2:1-20 KJV]