Saturday, December 24, 2011

My traditional Christmas Eve devotional

This is my 3rd year hosting Christmas Eve for my family.  It also marks the third year of giving my traditional Christmas devotional reading following the legacy my late grandfather left.  Normally these take me hours to prepare, but as of yesterday morning I still hadn't written anything and wasn't even sure exactly what I would write.  I had prayed about it and felt strongly that the Christmas story (from the bible that is) should be told even though most of us had heard it many times.  I wanted to find some unique way of telling it so I began researching online and found lots of neat ways to share the story.  So I admit, most of this idea is stolen and therefore only took about an hour of my time.  You can find the original idea here, but I had to tweak it some to add my personal flare.  Basically I have a piece a candy that represents each part of the story.  At then end of the story, I will have the candy in favor bags for everyone to take home with the bible references on a gift tag.  Here's the story:

I saw a fun and sweet way to remember the Christmas story of Jesus’ birth.  We all know that Christmas time is a sweet time of year.  Not only are our kitchens filled with sweet smells of all the holiday baking, but it’s sweet because our Lord is sweet and was born as a sweet baby so many Christmases ago.  The story of Jesus’ birth should be as sweet to our ears and hearts as our holiday baking is to our tummies. 

Here are some sweet things to remind us of that wonderful sweet Christmas story.

1)    Bridge Mix (Journey of Joseph and Mary). This “bridge” mix resembles the Journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem.  We all know that a bridge provides a way of passage to the other side.

Luke 2:4-5 says "Because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home.  He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.  He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now pregnant.”
2)     Baby Ruth (Reminder of Sweet Baby Jesus) (I could not find Sugar babies or sugar daddies!!!)
How exciting that God sent His Son down from heaven in the form of a sweet little baby.  A little child would change history and save us from our sin.  Luke 2:7 “She gave birth to her first child, a son.  She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.”

3)     Candy Cane (Reminder of the Shepherds).  The candy cane reminds us of the staff of the shepherds and how they were busy taking care of their sheep while Jesus was being born.  If you turn it upside down, it looks like a J –for Jesus.  The red represents His blood and how He died for us and the white represents how He washes us white as snow.  Luke 2:8-9 “That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them.  They were terrified.”

4)    Almond Joy (Reminder of the Angels Announcement)  Luke 2:10-12 “But the angel said to them (the shepherds) ‘Don’t be afraid.  I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.  The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!  And you will recognize him by this sign - You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manager”

5)    Dove Candy (Reminder of Peace).  The dove has always been a symbol of peace.  Because Christ was born we can have peace.  In John 14:27 Jesus says “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart.  And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give.”

6)    Smarties (Reminder of the Wise Men)
Even the wise men of Christ’s day looked for the Lord.  The wise men followed the star to Bethlehem until they found the house where the baby Jesus lay. We are not certain how many wise men came. We can guess that maybe at least three came because that is how many gifts they brought.  The wise men worshiped the baby Jesus as God the Savior and gave him gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These gifts were very meaningful. Gold was fitting for a king. Frankincense was a resin from a balsam tree used as a medicine, which was rare in those days. They knew this king would heal his people. Myrrh, an herb used in burials, was the most unusual gift. It pointed to the importance of this child-king’s death which would occur later in life and would save the world.  Christmas is the day we celebrate the birth of Christ our Lord. These wise men came to worship the newborn king. Today, men who are wise still worship Jesus.

7)    Starburst (Reminder of the star)

The star was used to guide the wise men.  Today, God has ways of guiding us too. When the wise men saw the star, they rejoiced.  When we see the Christmas star, this should be a good reminder to rejoice as well.

Matthew 2:9-10  “The wise men went on their way.  And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem.  It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star they were filled with joy!”

8)    Hershey’s treasures of other foiled wrapped coin candy (The gifts from the wise men).  When the wise men came, they brought treasure with them to give to Jesus.  We should always bring our gifts to Jesus such as time, talents, and other things we know He ultimately blessed us with to give and glorify Him.

Matthew 2:11 “They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chest and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

9)    Reison (Jesus is the Reason for the Season)

Jesus came to earth on Christmas Day so that we could live with Him forever and that our lives on earth might be more meaningful.  Hi is our reason for the wonderful holiday season.

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”

Let this be a reminder that Christmas is sweet not only to our tongues and bellies but to our hearts.

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