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Saturday, December 2, 2017

1st Advent Devotional ~"Jesus revealed the preciousness & worth & winsome beauty of childhood."

Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
Luke 2:10-12

A baby is a harmless thing
And wins our hearts with one accord,
And Flower of Babies was their King,
Jesus Christ our Lord:
Lily of lilies He
Upon His Mother’s knee;
Rose of roses, soon to be
Crowned with thorns on leafless tree.

A lamb is innocent and mild
And merry on the soft green sod;
And Jesus Christ, the Undefiled,
Is the Lamb of God:
Only spotless He
Upon His Mother’s knee;
White and ruddy, soon to be
Sacrificed for you and me.

Nay, lamb is not so sweet a word,
Nor lily half so pure a name;
Another name our hearts hath stirred,
Kindling them to flame:
‘Jesus’ certainly
Is music and melody:
Heart with heart in harmony
Carol we and worship we.

C.G. ROSSETTI
Poems -1886

By coming Himself a little child, our Lord forever glorified and sanctified childhood. Christmas is, par excellence, the children’s festival. It is the day when the children however far they may be scattered during the year, meet again around the family hearth and sit down again around the family table. When we begin to analyse our Christmas joy, it is amazing how largely it gathers round the children. And it is right that Christmas should be the children’s festival, for it is the anniversary of the discovery of the little child. Before Christ came child life was held of little account; infanticide was common; little children were flung out as rubbish and left to die. But Jesus became a little child, and by so doing revealed the preciousness and worth and winsome beauty of childhood. He put the crown upon the child’s head. What care is taken of him today. And what love is lavished upon him. When Christmas morning dawns, the child wakes to find himself surrounded with presents. He hung his stocking up overnight, and, sure enough, in the morning it is filled with good things. Santa Claus, we say in our make-believe way, visited his bedroom overnight, and brought him the gifts. But many of our children know better. They have begun to realize that father and mother are the real Santa Claus, and that it is they who have brought the presents. But another figure is standing behind father and mother—it is Jesus Christ. He is the true Santa Claus. He, and not St. Nicholas, is the ‘good fairy’ to whom the children owe all their Christmas joy and gladness. It is well, therefore, that Christmas Day should be made a happy day for the children. It is well that all that is brightest should be identified with the birthday of Jesus, for it was the coming of Jesus that exalted the child. Our children owe their happy homes, their parents’ love, their beautiful presents, all to the fact that when the shepherds went to Bethlehem long ago they found a Babe.
JAMES HASTINGS
The Gospel of Luke

The Christ of God we sing,
The Babe of Bethlehem!
And on His infant head we place
The royal diadem.
The crown of thorns is His,
That child of poverty,
Who on this earth of ours can find
No place His head to lay.
The crown of heaven is His,
And angels own him there.
The crown of earth shall yet be His,
And we that crown shall share.

HORATIUS BONAR

Christ My Song

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