Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC
Sunday, December 25
By Tim Best, Senior Associate Pastor
Comfort and Joy
Read: Titus 2:11-14
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”
When I wake up this morning I anticipate I will make my morning coffee, get ready for worship, and at some point listen to multiple versions of the Christmas classic “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” Most years I do all I can to avoid proper Christmas music until the Christmas Eve services. It has never truly worked, but I do what I can. There are so many good carols that I can’t explain why it is that I have settled on this particular one to help me usher in Christmas day each year. Perhaps it was listening to the version by The Barenaked Ladies (yes, it is a band, for those who don’t remember the 90’s, and I promise theirs is a particularly wonderful performance) or was it the recording from Pentatonix? Whichever it was, the song sums up the Good News of this day.
The day’s reading from Titus could be the direct inspiration for this favored carol of mine. God’s grace has appeared today, bringing salvation to all. If you have the time today, take the ten minutes and listen to this and other Christmas hymns and offer them as prayers. Receive the gift of God’s comforting grace and rejoice in the love that you have not earned but have been given. Remember, Christ our savior was born on Christmas Day!
Gracious Lord, Fill our hearts with joy as we celebrate that you have drawn close to us in Christ Jesus. Grant that, even as we receive the joy of your presence with us, we would proclaim with our lives the joy you offer to all the world this and every day. Amen.