Holiday Devotional Highlights

I’ve had a number of daily devotional readings I’ve been doing throughout this holiday season, and each day, I like to save the bits that God has highlighted in my heart. From the last few weeks:

Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor. (Isaiah 9:6) His perfect counsel CORRECTS my SELF-COUNSEL and selfish thinking. The Wonderful Counselor gives guidance to my foolish heart. ~, emphasis mine

The gift of greatest efficacy and power that we can offer God and creation is not our skills, gifts, abilities, and possessions. Mary offered only space, love, belief. ~Loretta Ross-Gotta via Plough

Wise men, in tracing Nature’s laws,
Ascend unto the highest cause;
Shepherds with humble fearfulness
Walk safely, though their light be less.
Though wise men better know the way,
It seems no honest heart can stray.

There is no merit in the wise
But love, the shepherds’ sacrifice.
Wise men, all ways of knowledge passed,
To the shepherds’ wonder come at last.
To know can only wonder breed,
And not to know is wonder’s seed. ~From “Hymn” by Sidney Godolphin (1610-1643) via Plough

As the angel proclaims, “Nothing is impossible for God,” Mary opens herself to this calling. Through clergy, leaders, family, friends, even strangers, we are often called to open ourselves to ways that God needs us that we would never imagine. Be prepared! You never know when or how that might happen...It makes me wonder how God’s eternal love might far surpass what we are hoping for.
Loving God, prepare me this day to hear the still small voice or the loud clanging cymbal that beckons me to that which I have never dreamed or imagined when it comes to serving you. Amen. ~Following The Star by

Journeys into uncharted waters can be challenging. I imagine Mary also felt this trepidation. To have the companionship of Elizabeth was truly a blessing. In this season, who might you share the journey with? ~Following The Star by

It’s easy to wonder: how can we join the chorus of angels in singing of peace and good news when the world seems so dark? But that’s when we need to sing it the most. That’s when we need to sing it the loudest.

Jesus didn’t enter the world during a time of peace. There was plenty of discord and unrest then, as there is now. No matter how dark it seems in the world or in our lives, there is always the light of the Christ child breaking through. Don’t be afraid! Look! The light of Christ surrounds us. Glory to God in heaven!

Renew in me the sense of wonder and awe that comes on this night, and give me the strength to sing boldly the good news. Amen.

The Light has come.

The Light is within us.

Go and let the Light shine.

~Following The Star by

There’s nothing romantic about the Christmas story. If anything, it offers a slice of a brutal world in which a child is born on the street, so to speak, with next to nothing in the way of rights and security, and not even a home. He whose birthday we celebrate at Christmas said, even as a grown man, “I have nothing. I am nowhere at home. Even at night, I have no place to rest or lay my head”.…But now this man from Nazareth comes to us and invites us to mirror God’s image, and shows us how. He says: you too can become light, as God is light. Because what is all around you is not hell, but rather a world waiting to be filled with hope and faith. ~Jörg Zink’s “Doors to the Feast” via Plough

You are surrounded by ever-widening circles of people who are present in your life. These are the people who love you. They know the hard work that you are undertaking and are proud of you. They celebrate your joys and mourn with you in your sorrow. Your relationship with these people helps you to grow in generosity of spirit.

Adjust your gaze for a moment and consider these circles of love, this gift that has been given to you. Each of us has a life filled with people, places, and things that are tangible forms of God’s love.

God of abundance, bearer of bounty: Draw my attention to the overflowing of gifts from above, remind me that each person and each moment is an opportunity to receive your generosity with a trembling and open heart, through your beloved child Jesus Christ. Amen.

You are a spark.

You are love.

You are a shining star.

You are a gift God has given to the world.

~Following The Star by

Although the scribes could explain where the Messiah should be born, they remained quite unperturbed in Jerusalem. They did not accompany the Wise Men to seek him. Similarly we may be able to explain every article of our faith, yet remain spiritually motionless. The power that moved heaven and earth leaves us completely unmoved.

What a contrast! The three kings had only a rumor to go by. But it spurred them to set out on a long, hard journey. The scribes, meanwhile, were much better informed, much better versed. They had sat and studied the scriptures for years, like so many dons. But it didn’t make any difference. Who had the more truth? Those who followed a rumor, or those who remained sitting, satisfied with all their knowledge? ~Søren Kierkegaard via Plough


  1. I enjoyed that last excerpt about the scribes and the wise men! Lots of truth there!!


Post a Comment