Happy New Year! Twenty-twenty is officially in the review mirror. The calendar has restarted. The page has been turned. Twenty-twenty-one has begun!
However, before we can archive 2020 and leave it to history, we must take some time to reflect and ponder what we have learned. For some of us, 2020 has been a year of building, growth, new horizons, wonderful opportunities, and great blessing. We have seen God work in powerful ways as He opened door after door and broadened our borders.
The long awaited day is here. Christmas morning. A special time of celebration, reflection, and love. Gifts are exchanged and joy shared. Family is appreciated and celebrated, and memories are made. However, in the midst of the wrapping paper, delicious food, fun games, and family jokes, let’s not forget whose birthday we’re celebrating.
Twenty-twenty has been a year of different. At first, so many had great expectations for this year and new decade. Twenty-twenty vision was the slogan many used to predict what this year would bring. While it may seem like this expectation never came about due to COVID-19, as we near the end of the year, I would have to argue the converse.
We have had one strange year; 2020 has not gone as anyone expected or dreamed it would. However, as we gather once again around this familiar holiday, there is still much we can be grateful for. In fact, the Bible encourages us and tells us that in the midst of difficult times is when we must count our blessings and bring to mind the faithfulness of God. Having a grateful heart in the middle of the trials and suffering in life is crucial to our spiritual health and continued growth during seasons of hardship.
Happy Resurrection Sunday! Christ is risen! He’s risen indeed!
As we celebrate this blessed day, let’s pause and take a moment to cast our minds back to that glorious morning over two thousand years ago. Picture the scene. All was dark, but then the sun began to peak over the horizon and to cast a golden glow upon a Judean hillside which held a tomb. A tomb with a stone that was rolled away. A tomb that once held the crucified Christ. A tomb that was now empty.
I know it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. This is the first Advent season in three years that I haven’t written something. Sorry for the silence! This Christmas season has gone by in a blur of activity and festivity. I hope you have all been blessed by the season.
But as we approach today—Christmas morning—there is a certain level of awe and wonder that ought to fill our hearts as we contemplate and ponder the birth of Christ. Not only were the events surrounding His birth amazing and incredible, but the very fact that He came fills my heart with worship.
As Thanksgiving approaches, it may be hard to feel thankful. Our nation has been hit hard with catastrophe, tragedy, and unprecedented violence. From the fires in the west to the hurricanes in the south and flooding in the east and numerous shootings throughout, no region has been spared from calamity. Many people are hurting and broken. Some are destitute without a home, while others have lost loved ones without having the chance to say goodbye.
Our hearts hurt for those who have lost everything, and we’re heavily burdened for those who have no hope. So this Thanksgiving, how can we rejoice and give thanks when our world seems to be falling apart?
He is risen! He is risen indeed!
Today is a day of celebration, praise, and worship of our Savior and King who conquered death and defeated Satan on that glorious Sunday two thousand years ago. What a reason to celebrate and rejoice! Because of Him we have eternal hope!
As we celebrate this day of human love and affection--whether it be with family, friends, or a spouse--let's remember and contemplate God's incredible love for us. He demonstrated ultimate love on the cross and no other type of love can compare with His unending, unconditional, agape love for us.
The Year of our Lord 2017 is now officially over. The New Year has begun. And while nothing feels different—the air is still chilly and life is still the same—it is the beginning of a new chapter in life. But before we look forward, let’s take a moment and look back over the past year.
The longed for, long awaited day has arrived. Merry Christmas, everyone! It’s Christmas Day! The presents have probably already been opened and sounds of joy, squeals if there are children involved, and thanks have filled the home. But now as the tissue paper settles and the new gifts get neatly arranged, it’s time to take a moment and remember why we celebrate Christmas.
It’s finally here! The day thousands of children have been waiting for. The big deadline shoppers have been frantically preparing for. The day before Christmas.
As we gear up for Christmas, let’s cast our minds back to where it all began. Over a year before the scene in the stable, God in His heavenly throne room summoned an angel and gave him a special assignment.
Advent is here. Christmas is just around the corner. However, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, there is an aspect of the Christmas story we tend to overlook or underemphasize. While flipping through the pages of Luke one and two and Matthew chapter one, we forget the lengthy gap that’s represented in the page that reads “The New Testament.” For us, the span between the Old Testament and New is merely a couple of pages, but for the Israelites it was 400 years.
Gratitude is a posture. A choice. We often overlook this truth and blindly believe that gratitude and thankfulness is a response to overflowing blessings. But Paul resets our perspective when he wrote to the Thessalonians:
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
~I Thessalonians 5:18
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