This year, I again had the privilege to deliver the Christmas devotion at my church’s women’s ministry brunch.
I want to share with you the devotion, which I had planned all along to do, but also, much to my happy surprise, it was recorded, so there is also a link to the recording included in this post.
First, I’ll share with you a few photographs that Rebecca Keller, of Rebecca Keller Photography, took so that we could remember this special event. I love the way she captured the beautiful decor, which we kept simple, because we wanted the people to be the highlight of the event; I appreciate the photo of everyone together, eating, talking, enjoying, and I am glad you get to see a view of the pretty women I got to see as I shared with them Jesus, and all that He had me share with them.
For you to listen (When the page opens, look towards the bottom left hand side and click “play”) :: http://www.capitalcommunitychurch.com/sermon/womens-christmas-brunch
For you to read ::
I am so glad each one of you precious women are here. My name is Rachel, and my husband, Tyler, and I have been members of Capital Community for four years this coming January. This is our family’s church – we have brought our two baby boys into this church family, dedicated them here, and are raising them alongside of our friends. We are humbly privileged to be apart of the Capital faith family.
Let’s start with prayer this morning – Jesus, thank you so much that this season of celebration is truly all about you. It’s your birthday and that is why we celebrate. Lord, let it be so — in our hearts, in our homes, in the world. I pray we will celebrate and invite others to celebrate with us. Jesus, thank you thank you thank you. We love you, Amen.
Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years – Happy Holidays! What a special season of celebration.
To think back over just the last few weeks – though I know for me it seems like Thanksgiving was more than a couple of weekends ago – I think it’s so neat how the Lord has ordained that the end of the year close with a season of celebration. We begin the season with Thanksgiving. A national holiday, all across the states everyone remembers the goodness of the Lord to the Pilgrims, and we as believers know to thank Him for who is He and all that He has done in our lives. And y’all, we get to do all of this thanking over a really delicious meal and a restful afternoon and weekends, all with the people who we love! What a great idea; what a wonderful holiday!
And through this fabulous holiday of Thanksgiving, the Lord readies our hearts for the miracle of Christmas.
And we enter into the month of December, preparing our hearts and homes for His birth. We fully engage in the celebration – Our calendars are marked with events, our homes are decorated and lit, our refrigerators are full of special food, and our closets and underneath our beds are packed with hidden gifts. Nothing goes untouched; every part of us and all of those around us, everything we enjoy, are invited into the celebration. Through family devotions and Sunday sermons, in our quiet times and as we listen to Christmas carols, we reflect on who Jesus is and how amazing it is that the Lord of the Universe would send a baby as the Savior of the world. We celebrate by getting together at special parties, dinners, services, and performances. We celebrate by giving gifts to those we love, to those in need, to those who serve us in all kinds of ways. Truly, we celebrate Christmas the entire month.
We can give with thankful hearts because we’ve been given much – all we have needed, His faithful hand has provided.
We can reflect on Jesus as we remember who He is and all that He has done for us.
And then the year closes and in His grace we enter into the next, and we resolve well that we will live in Christ.
What a supernatural pattern the Lord has established in this season of celebration – rejoicing, remembering, reflecting, and resolving.
This Saturday morning we are together at this beautiful brunch with yummy food and our friends, time set apart just for us, and we are celebrating.
So, let’s engage this morning as a time to reflect on the Lord and to adore Him.
Come, Let us adore Him.
In Isaiah, the Scripture reads,
“For unto us, unto us!, a child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder, and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. Of the increase, or expansion, of His government and of peace there will be no end,…from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord and of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7, ESV)
He is the child born.
He is the Son given.
He is the King.
He is the Wonderful Counselor.
He is the Mighty God.
He is the Everlasting Father.
He is the Prince of Peace.
He is eternal.
He is the promise kept.
He is the “gift of divine grace for sinners” *
He is your gift, exactly all and everything you need.
And He is your gracious Savior, which praise the Lord, because you and me, we are those sinners, in desperate need for a Savior. And He keeps on saving – wherever you need saving today, He is your Savior.
So ladies, instead of letting our to do lists and our full calendars overwhelm us or instead of succumbing to impatient complaining or jaded apathy, instead of attempting to control each event and every reaction, let’s just come. Let’s reflect on the character of Jesus. And let’s adore Him, together.
Let this season of celebration be one of reflecting on Jesus. Let it also be a time of healing, of reconciliation, of mending and of loving. Let’s let the Lord make us whole, not fragmented any longer, but whole in Christ, engaging all that He is, using all that He has given us to know Him, and then to make Him known.
Let’s look full into His wonderful face. Let us – each a woman of Capital – and then whoever we are, the woman of our home, little women in our home, and most importantly as a woman of the Lord – be conduits for the celebration of Jesus’ birthday. Let’s let all of the gift giving and getting together, all of the parties planned and special outfits only aid in the magnificent celebration of Jesus’ birthday!
And, let’s be real, girls, because it happens to all of us in different ways, anytime that the pressure of the season threatens to cripple us, or anytime that personal suffering bubbles hot to the surface of our expression, let us look long into the face of Jesus. Let Christ be our Comfort and our Joy. Let Christ rejoice our weary hearts.
And the other times, when we are full of excitement and peaked with happiness, let our smile express His face to others. Let’s sing, Joy to the World, the Lord has come!
Let’s allow the Lord to save us, to make us whole, to re-create us into conduits of His grace, to free us to celebrate and enjoy His birthday. Let’s look long and hard into Jesus’ face so that when others look at us, they see Him. Let us come together, precious women, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.
Y’all, i just think this is the neatest, wildest thing, so let’s just take a quick second here at this thought – it’s true, that as shops dress windows and retailers slam full the racks and shelves with gifts to give, when grocery stores stock all of our favorite yummies, and when everywhere you turn there is decorated trees, singing lights, glitter, garland, and glue… the world is celebrating Jesus’ birthday.… when the world comes together to celebrates Christmas, the world is expanding His kingdom; each person is celebrating the birth and the reign of Jesus Christ… whether they realize it or know it, the world is participating.
Have you thought about it this way before?
Because we realize it, because we know who and what we are celebrating – the birth and the reign and the expansion of His kingdom – let’s adore Him. Let’s celebrate with the best of them; let’s use all that we have and let’s invite everyone we know to be apart of this magnificent, eternal celebration.
Let’s join Christ in expanding HIs kingdom by sharing the good news – that a Savior has come, who is Christ the Lord. The world, people’s hearts, are open like no other time during the year to this message… personal suffering and public celebration swirl together as Christmas overtakes our days. And we have an open door to share with them our Savior who is born, Christ the Lord.
This Christmas, open your hearts to the Lord, adore Him. Open your homes to others, share Him. Open your arms and be enveloped by Jesus; open your arms and envelope your family, your friends, your neighbors, all of those around you who need His love, His salvation.
And let this adoration and celebration wrapped and opened in Christ lead you to resolve well as you by His grace enter into the New Year. Resolve in Christ to continue to celebrate; to continue to give and to share and to show Christ the Savior whose Kingdom is ever-expanding has come, has saved, and is worthy of all adoration and praise.
And then next Christmas, when we get together again to adore, to celebrate, to share special time together, let’s bring others with us, who have joined in the celebration in the real way for the first time, and we be together, declaring, worshipping and adoring, Christ is the Lord.
Come, let us adore Him.
(*ESV study notes)
Let us too, women who read together, come and adore Him, who is Christ the Lord. Amen and Amen.