Daily Devotional December 14, 2021

Barbara sent the following song that is sung to the tune of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” or “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”  Sadly, it echoes what many of us experience this time of year.

A Christmas Lament
(may be sung to the tune of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” or — with some rhythmic adjustment — “O Little Town of Bethlehem”)

I cannot welcome Jesus now, there isn’t time enough;
With greens to hang and lights to string, and other Christmas stuff.
There’s gifts to buy and food to fix, and silverware to buff.
I cannot welcome Jesus now, there isn’t time enough.

I have to take the children to see Santa at the mall.
There’s Christmas cards to write and mail,
and guest lists I must call.
The garland isn’t long enough — the Christmas tree’s too tall!
I cannot welcome Jesus now; I just can’t do it all.

The children’s Christmas pageant at the church this Sunday night;
Five dozen cookies to be baked and costumes sewn just right;
The office party gift exchange, expenses out of sight;
I cannot welcome Jesus now, with time and budget tight.

The sermon says that Advent is the time I should prepare.
My datebook says it’s Christmas Day, and I don’t even care.
I kept so busy doing things, I never was aware,
That Jesus came unnoticed, for I had no time to spare.

    — Dean McIntyre (dmcintyre@gbod.org) is the music resources director in the Center for Worship Resourcing, The General Board of Discipleship. 

A Christmas Lament by Dean McIntyre. Copyright © 1995 Dean McIntyre. Used by permission. Published 1999, 2004 by The General Board of Discipleship, The United Methodist Church, PO Box 340003; Nashville TN 37203; telephone 1-877-899-2780, ext. 7073. Web site: www.umcworship.org. All rights reserved. 

In the midst of your rush to get everything done for Christmas, remember what it’s really about.

God sent a child to save us.  That’s what matters.

Two thousand years ago, an angel appeared to Joseph and told him God’s plan.  “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21)

It’s about a baby.

Prayer:  Dear Gracious Heavenly God, in this time of hurry and rush, help me remember what this is really about.  Thank you for sending Jesus.  I pray my life reflects his love into the lives of others.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Christmas is almost here.  I cannot wait.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins