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12.17 Advent Devotional

Good Christian Friends, Rejoice!

Good Christian friends, rejoice
with heart and soul and voice;
now ye hear of endless bliss:
Jesus Christ was born for this!
He has opened heaven’s door,
and we are blest forevermore.
Christ was born for this!
Christ was born for this

Scripture - Isaiah 58:6-12

6 Is not this the fast that I choose:
    to loose the bonds of injustice,
    to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
    and to break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
    and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
    and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
8 Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator[a] shall go before you,
    the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
    you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.

If you remove the yoke from among you,
    the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
10 if you offer your food to the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
    and your gloom be like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
    and satisfy your needs in parched places,
    and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
    like a spring of water,
    whose waters never fail.
12 Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
    you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
    the restorer of streets to live in.

Devotion - “Ho Ho Ho Santa Claus has been here…”

“Ho Ho Ho Santa Claus has been here…”

 

For as long as I can remember, these were the first words I heard on Christmas morning.  Around 5am, yes 5 am, my Dad would sing out these words as he walked down the hall.  There was always an excitement, and wonder in his voice on this day of celebration.  This was not in anticipation of the packages under the tree that bore his name.  This was due to the sheer joy he received from giving, from sharing this wonderous day with us.

 

Throughout my life, my Dad was my example of giving.  He gave of his time, with a helping hand, an act of kindness, and even with a simple smile. He gave to his family, his friends, his church family and strangers alike.

 

While I have not heard my Dad sing out these words in a while, I now lend my voice to this tradition with the hope and belief that giving will always be better than receiving.  Giving – the spirit of Christmas!

 

“Ho Ho Ho Santa Claus has been here.”  May the spirit of giving shine brightly in each of your hearts not only during the Christmas season but through the year.

 

Peace and Smiles,

Lisa Williams

O Come, O Come Emmanuel, performed The Dubious Brothers, arranged by Sean Cole

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Many of us find that an intentional practice is important as part of our Advent reflections and you may want to consider this one. The Hunger Action Team suggests you set aside one food item or a small amount of money each day to stock the Food Pantry at North Raleigh Ministries. Click here for more information.