REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional is a reprint of Kate Moon’s blog originally posted on December 24, 2014. Kate continues to serve the Lord in E. Asia.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Living as if There is No Christmas”
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.’”
Christmas mornings were always a joyful time in our household when I was growing up. With five children and three adults (including our grandmother), the space under the tree would be overflowing with gifts that had magically appeared overnight. The youngest would always be the first up at 5 or 6 am, trying to get the others out of bed while the older ones would tease and pretend to be sooo sleepy that they couldn’t possibly get up just then and manage to drag it out until 6:30 or 7.
Strictly speaking, our joy wasn’t coming from the “true meaning of Christmas,” but the surprise and wonder of being children opening packages, receiving the love of our parents expressed in this particular way, the family traditions and the good times spent together were all good gifts from our God above that we enjoyed especially at this time.
Living now in a country where Christmas isn’t a national holiday, where there is still rush hour in the morning and evening because people are going to work, where students still have classes and even final exams on December 25th, it is harder to have a sense of the day as being something special. At the same time, though, it brings about a different kind of awareness. Seeing the masses of people going about their lives, business as usual, one is struck by the realization that this was indeed their reality as people who did not know Jesus. Though on the night of Jesus’ birth, the angels declared this good news of great joy that was to be for all the people, there were still so many who had not yet heard, who simply had no idea that there was more to life than the everyday.
Joy to the world. As we celebrate Christmas day with thanksgiving in our hearts for the joy and peace he has brought into our lives, let’s also remember that his coming was for all people and lift up a prayer for those who have yet to know him.
Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for your great love. Thank you for coming for us, to save us and set us free. Thank you for the abundant life that you give us. May those who have yet to know you hear this good news. Let people all over the world know the joy you bring. In your name we pray. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 2 (Christmas reading)
Lunch Break Study
Read Luke 2:15-18: “When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’ 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.”
Questions to Consider
- After hearing the angel’s message, what did the shepherds want to do (v. 15)?
- What happened when they got to Bethlehem (v. 16)?
- What did they do afterwards (v. 17)? Why do you think they did this? From where do get our motivation to share the good news?
- They wanted to see for themselves what had happened.
- When they saw Mary, Joseph and the baby, they experienced for themselves the truth of the message from God, and they could believe their Messiah had truly come into the world.
- They spread the word. They did this because of what they had heard but also experienced; they believed that this was truly good news. We are most motivated to share when we have experienced the truth of God’s message for ourselves and really come to believe it is good news.
Did I have a tangible, personal experience of God and the truth of his word today? Who will I tell?