Vol. 7, No. 47 – November 27, 2022 – Advent 2022

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught. –Luke 1:1-4

It is a love-work relationship to write of the Advent themes each year; to move the hearts of the readers to consider anew the truths of what we call the Christmas Story. Hope is one of five major themes.

When you look to retail and internet advertisements to make you aware of the change in the seasons, you only have to listen to its music. We know Christmas is coming because we hear the songs: Jingle Bells or Grandma got Run Over by a Reindeer. I am sorry to disappoint you, but that is not what Christmas is about.

If we are looking for a song, perhaps we might listen to Silent Night or Hark the Herald Angels Sing. But there is also the stuff. Christmas trees are on sale the week before Thanksgiving (or before–many go on display when the pumpkins are removed). The other “stuff” is promoted, beginning in August. August! Let alone for some retailers, the “Christmas music” begins blasting when you are purchasing the back-to-school supplies.

Soon, the songs, at least the words, just wash over you and you pay them little mind. And what is with that little phrase, “Have a Merry One.” What is up with that? Some stores realize they do not have much chance of competing with the big boys, so they start their 50% off sales of Christmas stuff right after they move their school supplies to the back room. Of course, there is Halloween and Thanksgiving, but less attention is paid to that, except for Halloween candy.

So, where is Luke going with the Gospel of Luke? What is he going to write? Let’s find out where his emphasis is.

Luke is a doctor. I am too, but not like Luke. Luke reports what he knows, giving proof of its correctness because he is an eyewitness of almost every jot and tittle. An eyewitness to Christ. He writes history (that God authored). Luke’s account also reflects the truth of why Jesus came, and that He is coming again. More about that another day.

When you think of God, what comes to mind? Everyone has a view of God. In fact, Paul writes that because we have been created with the essence of God within us that it takes tremendous effort for a person to deny Him. He calls this denial, suppression. Suppression can only happen with things you know. That you want to deny. That you hope will go away. It won’t go away.

Have you read enough of the Scriptures to realize it has been God’s intention to send His Messiah? It is true. God cares so much for those He created that He sends His Son, who sacrificed His life to be our Savior. True.

When we are joyful about a gift the most natural response of our heart is to sing. If we do not know the words of a current song, we can be caught making one up to reflect our hearts.

There is a song recorded in the Gospel of Luke. It is a new song, but it uses older words. Read it closely, here are the words:

My soul magnifies the Lord,

And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

For He has looked on the humble estate of His servant.

For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

For He who is mighty has done great things for me,

And holy is His name.

And His mercy is for those who fear Him

From generation to generation.

He has shown strength with his arm;

He has scattered the proud, in the thoughts of their hearts;

He has brought down the mighty from their thrones

And exalted those of humble estate;

He has filled the hungry with good things,

And the rich He has sent away empty.

He has helped His servant Israel,

In remembrance of His mercy,

As He spoke to our fathers,

To Abraham and to his offspring forever.

Did you hear the Hope? Wonder how that would play over the speakers at Walmart, Target, Kohls, and others.

Mary speaks first in personal words, then moves to an us mindset. It is difficult to avoid the internal changes to our hearts when we consider the songs of Scripture. We cannot help but share the Hope that is presented.

How are you doing with your song of Christmas for 2022?

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

November 27, 2022

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