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Week 2 December 2023, Devotion Part 2

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!  Luke 2:14


All four Gospels record Christ’s baptism in the Jordan on behalf of sinners. While He prayed, heaven was opened “and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove…” (Luke 3:22). This clearly identified Jesus as the only sinless and morally pure “son of man” on the face of the earth. We glorify and please God by our joyful acceptance of His gift of salvation. It makes us abhor sin’s pollution and natural man’s proclivity for dwelling and feeding on it. Purged from the Fall, we no longer fall for flawed peace concepts that promote cynicism and kill hope … or even for “adorably cute” tributes to our Prince of Peace. Instead, we fall on our knees to “hear the angel voices! O night divine, the night when Christ was born; O night, O holy night, O night divine!”  (Part 2 of 2)


Comment: It used to be both fun and frustrating to join the crowd at my favorite Hallmark store, sadly gone now, for the annual ritual of buying Christmas cards. Along with other indecisive shoppers, I scrutinized at excruciating length the many displays, hoping for the perfect find..  Some nostalgic browsers hankered for Currier & Ives, while scoffers at tradition preferred a naughty, not nice Santa Claus. Polar bears competed with the ever popular Madonna, and of course, those colorfully costumed children hailing world peace.  Sometimes I had to settle on a safe Poinsettia, cringing if it just conveyed “Season’s Greetings,” but determined to personalize them.  My inspiration was the “Preacher” of Ecclesiastes 12,19, who “sought to find pleasing words, and uprightly he wrote words of truth.”  Up nightly, I labored until I put those banal seasonal greetings in their place by adding, “Jesus is the reason for every season.”  Not wanting to be accused of plagiarism, I looked up alternative names for Him. I had taken a shine to the name “Breaker” in Micah 2:13, but it didn’t have enough of an Advent feel to it.  So I went on a methodical search and wound up with a few more, such as:

“Advocate, Almighty, Anointed, Author and Finisher; Beloved, Bridegroom, Bread of Life, Bright Morning Star, Brightness of the Father’s Glory; Carpenter of Nazareth, Chief Shepherd, Consolation of Israel, Counselor; Day Star, Deliverer, Desire of All Nations, Door; Emmanuel, Eternal Life, Everlasting Father; Faithful and True Witness, Foundation, Fountain, Forerunner, Friend of Sinners; Gift of God, Glory of Israel, God With Us, Good Master; Head of the Church, Heir of all things, High Priest, Holy One of God, Hope; I Am, Image of God; Jehovah, Judge; King of Glory; Lamb of God, Life, Light, Lord of All; Man of Sorrows, Master, Mediator, Messiah; Nazarene; Offspring of David, Only Begotten Son, Only Wise God; Passover, Physician, Prince of Peace, Prophet; Redeemer, Resurrection, Righteous Judge, Rock of Offense, Rose of Sharon, Ruler; Savior, Scepter, Son of the Father, Son of Man, Sun of Righteousness; Teacher, Truth; Unspeakable Gift; Vine; Way, Wisdom, Wonderful, Word of God.” (Note to that ancient writer of “pleasing words” of TRUTH: Jesus leaves me “wordless”!)  Luke  2

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