This Little Light (Part 4)

Good morning and Merry Christmas!

We are now less than one week from Christmas. This is typically a time of great anticipation for things to come. This is to some degree the spirit of Christmas, but why? “Therefore the Lord will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14 NIV 1984). “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 NIV 1984). Written about 700 years before the birth of Christ, both of these passages describe, with great anticipation, the event we celebrate at Christmas. “While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manager, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:6-7 NIV 1984). For 700 years, the world waited for this moment described by Luke. In that moment, God entered the world in the form of a baby and everything changed. In a quiet stable in Bethlehem the Light of the World that brought hope that can never be overcome was born. This is the spirit of Christmas. In the days before Christmas, we anticipate the celebration of the day God changed eternity. The day Jesus entered the world in the form of a baby, we suddenly had hope for a different future; a future living as we were created to, in relationship with God. It is an amazing thing to consider. I hope this Christmas you will give it some thought and find a joy and anticipation in Christmas like never before.

To aid you in this process, below I have posted an advent devotional I wrote a couple of years ago for a project at my church, Crossroads Community Church. It was created for Christmas day, but feel free to use it as you please. I hope it blesses you and your family and that you and yours have a blessed Christmas!

-James Belt

Advent Devotional

John 1:14 One

The One and Only…

I am not sure what this phrase brings to mind for you, but for me, especially around the holidays, my thoughts go immediately to the One and Only Santa Claus and Miracle on 34th Street. I never get tired of watching the Postal Service dump thousands of letters addressed to Santa Claus on the desk of the judge as Frank Gailey declares Kris Kringle to be the “One and Only Santa Claus.”

Today is December 25th, Christmas Day, and the wait is over, The One and Only has arrived – The One and Only Begotten Son of God. Today’s scripture says the Word, Jesus, became flesh and lived among us and that, because of this incredible miracle, we may know the Father who is full of grace and truth. Is this one of a kind gift what you’ve been anticipating this Christmas season or has something else captured your heart’s imagination?

As you celebrate Christmas today, take some time to reflect on this extravagant act of love and the unique gift we were given in Jesus. Christmas is not only about the birth of Christ, but also about the climax of God’s redemption plan for this world and our lives. In the same way, Jesus’ uniqueness is not limited to being the Only Begotten Son of God – He is our one and only hope, the one and only gift that brings true joy, the one and only who can fulfill us, the one and only savior, the one and only light of the world and the one and only ultimate expression of God’s love.

Jesus truly is the One and Only, One and Only.

What is Christ the “One and Only” of for you this Christmas? What would be different in you if you began to believe Jesus is the only gift that truly matters this year? How can you begin to make that a reality in your life?

Today is Christmas Day – give praise to God for the arrival of the One and Only!

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