Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Family Devotional Guide

“Let Ev’ry Heart Prepare Him Room”

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Lo, your King comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, a colt the foal of a donkey (Zechariah 9:9).

How do you prepare for the coming of a King? If he were coming to our homes, the answer would be obvious: we would clean and scrub and straighten up so that everything everywhere seems to say, ‘Welcome!’

But how do we prepare our hearts to receive Him? Cleaning and scrubbing and straightening up are certainly in order, of course: confessing our sins and seeking the Lord’s forgiveness are serious and necessary preparations.

But then...another kind of preparation would seem to be in order, the kind of evident joy that really says ‘Welcome!’ in a glad and happy way. When Jesus came the first time, He came humbly, determined to submit totally to the will of God, all the way to dying for us on the cross – in order that we may receive Him with evident joy.

So let your preparation – including the scrubbing and cleaning and straightening up that takes place within your home and even your heart – be done in the spirit of the forgiveness He comes to bring, with joyful anticipation!

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King!
Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room
And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n and nature sing,
And heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.

When Isaac Watts published his Psalms of David in 1719, he did not intend this paraphrase of Psalm 98 to be a Christmas carol. His title was The Messiah’s Coming and Kingdom. Composer Lowell Mason based his melody on themes from Handel’s Messiah.

Read Psalm 98

(Arden Mead, Repeat The Sounding Joy!: Advent Meditations On The Great Carols of Christmas. (Fenton: Creative Communications, 1988) pg. 12.)


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