Sunday, December 24, 2017

BEAUTIFUL AND GLORIOUS

Today’s Reading: Isaiah 3-5

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

This is a great picture for Christmas Eve! The actors of Nazareth Village do their best to bring the Gospels to life. Their motive is that all who visit will believe in Jesus as did the Shepherds. Let us come to worship Him too. The “Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious!” (Isaiah 4:2). The Baby is “The Branch.” The original meaning of the word translated “Branch” may have been “Bud.” A bud is a baby branch. Merry Christmas!!!

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Isaiah 4:2

In that day the Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious; And the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing for those of Israel who have escaped.

 

Isaiah 3 could be depressing if not for the promise of our key verse. The actual destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians was still over 100 years away, but on the road to destruction (the people’s fault, not God’s) there would be famine, incompetent and corrupt leaders, chaos and gross sin.

The warnings in Chapter 4 give way to messages of hope. At some future time, Zion will prosper under the beautiful reign of “The Branch.” This is a term which refers to the rule of the “Messiah.” As Christians, we believe that “Branch-Messiah” is Jesus, whose birth we celebrate!!!

In Chapter 5 the word “woe” is repeated 6 times. The “woe” of “intoxicating drink” is referenced twice! Let’s pay attention to that one and act accordingly this Christmas. Other woes are selfishness, greed, materialism, the reversing of standards of behaviour, pride and injustice. “Woe” is the result of rejecting the Covenant, a most solemn and binding legal agreement, made between God and the human family. Jesus was born to turn “woe” into something “beautiful, glorious…excellent and appealing!” (Isaiah 4:2). God came to us, as Elizabeth, the cousin of the Virgin Mary said, “to take away my reproach!” (Luke 1:25). Click here to read Luke, chapters 1 & 2 on Christmas Eve.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, may I perceive the beauty and glory of “The Branch of the Lord” in all the fulness of His Person. May I, because of Your redemption, make the fruit of the earth, the redeemed of the Lord, more beautiful and appealing to others. Through Jesus Christ, I pray that I will daily run farther and farther away from sin, escaping forever from its clutches! In Your all-powerful Name I pray, Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

In Isaiah 5:1 the prophet gives some personal words from God! “Let Me sing for My well-beloved a love song.” As I type these words, Norma-Jean is still sleeping, but when she awakes I’m inspired to sing her a love song. It will be our favourite called, “Unforgetable.” Singer Nat King Cole sang it so beautifully, and I’ll be a poor excuse for his voice, but it’s the thought that counts.

I remember childhood Christmases. I have such warm thoughts of the wood fire in the box stove and the little candles clipped onto the freshly cut Christmas tree branches, which gave light in the parlour. Yes, the flames near the branches could’ve been dangerous, but the tree was fresh (cut and decorated Christmas  Eve), and we were careful. We’ve proven that we can, if necessary, get along without electricity, but we know for sure that we cannot get along without the One born in Bethlehem, Whose birth we celebrate. He is “A Light to bring revelation to the Gentiles.” I’m one of them! He is my “Light!” (Luke 2:32a).

Yours in “beautiful and glorious” celebration of Christ’s birth!

David

P.S. In the picture below, I’m on the roof of the Bethlehem City Hall. We’re overlooking Manger Square. What is perhaps the world’s tallest (artificial) Christmas tree was in the process of being decorated when we took this photo on November 25th. Directly over the top of the tree is the Church of the Nativity. The cave/stable where Jesus was born is just underneath the church. The continuity of the families of the shepherds and the relatives of Joseph make this spot believable. Do you see the red roof next door to the Nativity Church? That’s St. Catherine’s Church. You may see midnight Mass from there on Christmas Eve as this service is carried every year around the world on TV. Also, click here for #4 in the TV specials I hosted from Bethlehem.

12 thoughts on “Sunday, December 24, 2017

  1. May our Lord give Norma-Jean and all of the Mainse family a blessed, healthy and peaceful Christmas and new year.
    Thank you to Ron and Ann for continuing to bring 100 Words to us.
    Merry Christmas to our blog family. May you have safe travels and warm memories to carry you through 2018.

  2. Oh, amen!! Such a beautiful message, and wonderful scriptures, full of wisdom and the Light of Christ! I just love the branch! It is interesting to know the rosary to Mary prayer was derived from Luke 1. Though there are many great Catholics as people in the world, praying to any other than Jesus Christ, Himself, in all His glory, is idolatrous. I say that, as a former Catholic. We have interesting journeys. I am so thankful I have arrived here, to fully know, love, and appreciate all my Saviour has done for me.

    Happy Christmas Eve, dear saints, in the Lord! May you be blessed beyond measure, this Christmas. And thank you, Ron, Ann, Norma-Jean, Reynold and Kathy, and everyone at Crossroads, for carrying on David’s legacy.

    For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isa 9:6 KJV

    White Christmas- Bing Crosby (Lyrics)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZO5r_5GmtQ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZO5r_5GmtQ

  3. Amen: Sally agreeing with your post.
    Sad day for me I am going to see my friend Elizabeth who is now in Hospice . I did speak to her about the Lord, she said that she would ask Him into her heart but not that day. I am hoping she will be able to share with me today that she took that step of faith. The family says it won’t be long before she leaves us .

    Blessings dear friends. I know that my Lord is a merciful God and He will work out ALL things according to His will. Amen.

    • God bless you Eleanor for caring for Elizabeth both her physical and spiritual health! we pray she did ask Jesus Christ into her heart…..
      Merry Christmas Eleanor, I so appreciate you sharing the blog! It helps many of us to be able to talk about issues we may be having or maybe others are having issues and reading your blog gives us hope and the will to keep going..
      Thank you Lord that You have said You will never leave nor forsake us.Thank you Lord in Jesus Name we Pray amen

  4. What a nice picture
    showing the night before
    Christmas.
    Song- The Night Before
    Christmas by Brandon Heath.with lysicsc
    Blessed Christmas to Norma-Jean
    and family.

  5. The comment above is rather strange. I’m away from home and having difficulty adjusting to the program my son so kindly set up for me to use.

    Now that I’m in today’s blog…and just read Isaiah..and David’s commentaries…I want to say thank you Ron and Ann for faithfully bringing this blog to us.
    I pray your family will have a special Christmas…remembering the Christmas’ when Pastor David celebrated with you as head of your household. God bless you and keep you in the Palm of His hand during this special season.

    Today’s photo gives a sense of peace…thank you for posting it…depicting Christmas and the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    Have a Blessed Christmas all you saints

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