This very special series of Christmas devotionals is by Trudy Junkroski.
Gazing into the Manger, ailment Part I
Scripture: This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, generic “Glory to God in the highest, mind and on earth peace…” Luke 2:12-14 (NASB)
Thought for the Day: Of all the wonderful memories of Christmas from my childhood, my favorite is Christmas Eve – not one particular Christmas Eve, but all of them. In my memory, Christmas Eve unfolded pretty much the same every year. My family would spend all day baking, preparing food, and getting the house in shape for that evening when grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins would gather at our house following the Christmas Eve service at church. We would sometimes prepare up to the last possible minute before it was time to go to church, and we were usually the last family to slip into a pew in the crowded First Methodist Church of Bartow just as the service was beginning. There was always that “Ah…we made it” moment, when we could look down the pew and see that each family member was accounted for, when we could finally breathe, hear the Christmas story, sing the moving hymns that were always part of the Christmas Eve service, and focus on the true meaning of the season. No matter what had happened up to that point during the busy holiday, or what would come after, Christmas Eve was the event that spiritually centered me. In those moments of worship, awe, love, joy, and peace, I experienced God. I felt complete, renewed by the wondrous story of the Christ child, bringing light and new life to the world. Hearing the Christmas story again and again, I could picture the scene from long ago, while experiencing it in the present – this story of humility and power, made real to me again and again in the innermost part of my being.
(To Be Continued…)
Prayer: God of infinite peace, through the bustle of life, guide us to the manger.