Christmas at the Chapel: And We Can Have Joy!

bakerchristmaseve17We can have joy!

by Lance Crumley
to my Chapel family who Christ brought me into

Who Are You?

I knock on your door
Your echo is my answer.

You open; I look…
Over your shoulder, I watch you measure
the dust of being on your scale
of grace and mercy.

You make a mark.
You save a soul.
Life has cast its own upon the beach- unwanted.

You point your finger at the shadow,
it is overcome by the light,
the truth, the way.

You. You.
I respond:
You whisper:
I AM…

There is one who walks
in the blaze of the sun
and casts no shadow.
There is one who lights the morning sky
with loveliness of the dawn of creation.

You pass through this day
and leave behind a warmth no night can destroy.

There is a rhythm of life
that permeates from your Spirit,
sustains me in my weakness,
holds me to your Being,
inspires me to your Greatness,
fills me with the dance of your Love,
carries me into my tomorrow!

There is a calmness of life to which man turns
when the stormy seas of existence threaten to destroy him.
He turns in anxiety and finds peace.
He turns in his desperation and finds life.
He turns in his confusion and finds direction
and finds You.

Born to humanity on Christmas Day!

 

For Advent devotions this year, we are using Pastor Tim Keller’s themes in his new book  Hidden Christmas

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Anticipating Advent: I Heard a Whisper

Advent is a word that I know of in only one context and will tell it now.

I was 18, had moved out, running a full time job, had a place, at that point was two years into injecting high powered drugs, had purchased a high powered Hi-Fi system and speakers — Advent loud speakers! Christmas was always just a date on the calendar, only a holiday so the birth of Christ became merely a whisper.

“I heard a whisper”

In the solitude of my prison walls, I have built a kingdom.  Despair and loneliness are my subjects, they move with ease within, relentless…

I am a captive by my own design.  Satan sneers and laughs with glee and dances about casting shadows of doubt — the end draws near.  I’m lost in my own kingdom, without a key.

Then I hear it, a most wonderful sound: a whisper…a whisper…
How did it reach me in my kingdom of one?
I heard your whisper soft and true. I listen for the beat of your soul.
I embrace the echo of your heart.
I am no longer just one!

“Eye of the storm”

In the depth of every storm, there is a silence to be heard.  The storm can not penetrate, dark and destructive by its nature, the nature of sin.   It seeks a weak point of entry to consume all in its path.  Rest awaits in the eye…in the cross!

“Embraced”

After the cool spring rains fall upon the parched desert floor, flowers bloom in a splendid radiance of color.  The air is filled with a fragrance of sweetness that envelops the spirit of life, a feast for the senses — for the soul.

Joy…Joy…Joy… in abundance.

The birth came in a whisper, the cross was for the lost, and His return will come with loudspeakers never heard before!

Amen!!

~Lance Crumley

Christ Comes to Us to Bring Us Great Joy

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. For behold I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”
Luke 2:10

These shepherds certainly had good cause to be afraid! Think of the terror put on those who witnessed even the smallest part of God’s heavenly power and majesty.

But now we need not be afraid of the splendor of God’s holiness, his glory was now among us, soon to live inside us!
We need not to feel like an outsider because we are Gentiles, because we are sinners.

This good news is given to ALL the people!
God chose to announce his greatest gift to the lowly shepherds, and is announcing it to us, still a lowly people, to this day.
Christ gives us nothing to fear, and everything to be joyful about.

How could we not be joyful?
The curtain is torn, the angels sing to the shepherds, for the King is among us with salvation in his hands!
~Brandon Dieleman

For All the People

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.
Luke 2:10

Can there be more beautiful words than these?  It must be the most wonderful song ever sung:

Don’t be afraid; be holding on to these words tightly.

I have come especially to tell you this; you have been chosen to be the first to hear.

This isn’t just good news; this is the greatest news ever!

This isn’t just going to make you happy;  you will be overjoyed!

This isn’t just news for you alone; this is for everyone, everywhere, for every time, for evermore.

The best gift of all has been given; no one, not one, has been left out.

And this song was sung for us all to hear.

Behold.  Be holding tight.  To His Word.  To each other.  To Him.

~ Emily Gibson

reblogged from Barnstorming