December 22, 2016
Let [us] give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men! Psalm 107:8
Most are thinking toward Christmas—family, the gifts, and the dinner. We might contemplate the dinner and family togetherness just completed, Thanksgiving!
As we gather with family once again, we cannot help but spend time in memory; contemplating days gone by. One of the great things about our past (and the present) is to be part of a people that gather together in the local church to celebrate the time of Christ’s birth. To worship Him together. Gathering on Christmas Day is intentional; one has to plan and make room in their day to join with others in worship; to make it a priority.
A Scripture I always read in the Christmas morning worship service (we always met together on Christmas Day–people were willing to adjust their schedules accordingly) was Psalm 100.
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.
Many are caught up is the secular biddings of the season, or even thinking toward change that will soon take place at the head of our government. Perhaps even Hail to the Chief plays in the subconscious rather than O Worship the King. Interesting the focus of Psalm 100. Shouting, singing, thanksgiving, praising, blessing, loving, and faithfulness. God is very good.
Churches have gathered their people over the year. Many have spent time praying together—some are slack in doing so. Many have not only brought tithes into the store house but also gifts to honor God’s goodness. Some have participated so little in support they are embarrassed when they look at their history at tax filing time.
Many have gathered in their churches regularly. Some have attended only sporadically and considered it sufficient. Many have gathered to sing the great hymns and choruses of the church—the ones that teach theology and doctrine, and bring people to worship. Some are more interested in the beats of the drums and electric guitars that sounds like the local club or concert they attend. Those “some” are at a loss to face the realities of the world in which they live. Where are we in reaching them? We attempt to accommodate their culture styles rather than be concerned with the truth of the gospel penetrating their darkened hearts.
This year, Christmas Day is on Sunday, December 25th. Will that day find you and your family in a house of worship, worshiping and giving thanks for God’s great gift? I certainly pray that every reader of this blog will seek to take themselves and their families to a place where you can shout, sing, give thanks, praise, be a blessing, love, and show yourself faithful in a world that is bent on ignoring the lovingkindness and faithfulness of our God!
It is disturbing in our culture to drive past some church signs that declare their church will be closed for worship on the day we celebrate Christ’s birth, but never mind, the church will be open following the secular night out of celebration on New Year’s Eve. What a sad commentary on the church. I was heartened today as I returned from celebrating the life of one who passed into glory–eight church signs were already noting they would have a special day of worship on Christmas Day. Bless each one of them.
Merry Christmas, Noel, and bless His Name! Christmas 2016