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Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas – Detoured Through Walmart

“When his (Zechariah’s) time of service was completed, he returned home. After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people.” Luke 1: 23-25 NIV) 

“’I know the source of my great joy,’ Elizabeth might have said. She certainly knew she was blessed, and, if blessed, she knew whom she would acknowledge and thank.” [Waiting for Jesus in a Can’t Wait World by Doris Gaines Rapp] 

How is Christmas shopping going for you? For me? – Not so much. But, where in the Bible does it say, the road from Nazareth to Bethlehem went through Walmart? At this most joyous season, when the angels sang and the star shone so brightly we still include lights in our celebration, have you found the source of your joy? Have you discovered who has blessed you? Have you found the peace of Christmas?

No? Perhaps you and I need to stop stewing about Christmas presents and start praising the Lord God for the miracle of his Christ Child – the only reason to celebrate! Make straight your path, from your heart for the love of the Christ, to your knees beside the manger, with no detours or meander bends through the department store. He is waiting for you in the hay stack display near the back of the store. Let us pray: 

“Precious Father, God of kings and Lord of my life, I bow before you on this eighth day of Advent as I prepare my heart for the coming of your son. Miraculously, he came, and comes again each new Christmas Day. Fill my heart with the awe of his presence, that I may be blessed anew by the amazing gift of the new Baby Jesus. Let this be the Christmas when I stop running around, and start being around – at the foot of the manger, knowing that it leads to the foot of the cross. May I finally “get” your gift of Christmas, the time when you brought Love into the world. I want to be a messenger of that Love to all those around me, and to places I had never dreamed of going. For I know, you will go before me, like the star of Christmas, lighting my way. In the name of your son, the Christmas Child and my savior, Jesus, I pray. Amen.”
Doris Gaines Rapp
"God gives us stories that testify to His love. Let me tell you mine.”
Copyright 2014 Doris Gaines Rapp 

Christmas Feather, one of eight short stories in a wonderful collection titled, Christmases Past Novelette: News at Eleven (Glo Magazine Jan, Feb, March, and April 2015) 
Waiting for Jesus in a Can’t Wait World – Advent 2014
Prayer Therapy of Jesus
Promote Yourself 
Length of Days – The Age of Silence
Escape from the Belfry
Smoke from Distant Fires
Hiawassee – Child of the Meadow
Length of Days – Beyond the Valley of the Keepers (January 2015)
News at Eleven – A Novel (April 2015)
Lincoln’s Christmas Mouse 

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