Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Grace

We received this encouraging e-mail from Nancy K. Grace and couldn't wait to share it with all of you. We got to know Nancy as our pastor's wife about 10 years ago. Nancy is a gifted speaker and shares her insights with women's groups and at marriage encounters. We encourage you to visit her web site - - and sign up for her monthly inspirational e-mail. Her words cut right to the center of the holiday rush and stress. We hope you find them as comforting as we did.
Overwhelmed or Overjoyed
The line at the post office wasn't too long, considering it was the first of December. Anytime I step into the post office I wonder how long it will take. Waiting gave me opportunity to read the signs about post office products. One caught my eye.
In large print, the poster read, "Turn Overwhelmed into Overjoyed." I realize the intent is to get you to use the Post Office for shipping this season, but I laughed to think that was what it would take to go from being overwhelmed to overjoyed. Most likely, for many of us, it would take a miracle.
That miracle happened over 2000 years ago, when God broke into our world in a quiet, yet dramatic way. He took the form of a helpless baby in a manger to change the world. Joseph and Mary, overwhelmed with the long trip, the need for housing, and the impending delivery, became overjoyed with the birth of Jesus. Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds were overwhelmed by the angelic proclamation, but became overjoyed when they went to Bethlehem. They moved closer to the manger, glorifying and praising God for what they had heard and seen. (see Luke 2: 19-20)
It is easy for us to become overwhelmed with December demands. The only way to go from being overwhelmed to becoming overjoyed is to look in the manger to see what God has done for your redemption.
"When the time had fully come,
God sent his Son, born of woman,
born under the law,
to redeem those under the law
that we might receive full rights as sons."
(Galatians 4: 4-5)
Reflect on the silent night God broke into history. Move from overwhelmed to overjoyed by coming closer to the manger.
I pray that in the days leading to Christmas, you will become overjoyed by the presence of God.
"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand." Psalm 16:11

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