Today’s Bible readings can be found at this link: Psalm 101:1-8 and Mark 6:19-44.

Psalm 101:1  “I will sing of your love and justice; to you, Lord, I will sing praise.”  (NIV)

            It’s that special time of year when we hear a lot of wonderful songs that we have learned and loved each Christmas. Whether we’re in church or at a mall, working at home or driving our car, we’re probably listening to carols and popular songs which stir our feelings and cause us to sing along with our favorite singers. As I write this, I’m listening to crooners like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Bing Crosby sing some golden oldies, as well as enjoying country singers like Reba, Shania Twain, and Dolly Parton perform some well-loved hymns and new songs for Christmas. It’s a pleasant experience and makes me thankful to God for the gifts and talents of both singers and songwriters who keep alive the Spirit of Christmas.

            Today’s highlighted Bible verse reminds us that our traditional Christmas hymns celebrate God’s love and justice. As scripture elsewhere proclaims, God loves humanity so much that He sent Jesus into the world to save us from our sins and stop us from being eternally separated from God. His justice is also shown through the unmerited gifts of mercy and grace – God gives us more than we deserve and accepts us more than we can ever achieve. So, when we hear or sing the songs of Christmas, we can actually feel God’s delight in healing humanity of unholiness and lovingly restoring us to His Kingdom.

Point to ponder:  What is my favorite Christmas hymn? How does it express to me God’s love and justice?

Prayer: Lord God, thank You for this wonderful time of year when we celebrate the birth of Your Son and look forward to the moment when He will return among us. Fill our hearts with Your favor and love to enable us to share those gifts with everyone we encounter during this beautiful season of joy and goodwill. In Christ’s Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

Today’s image is one of John’s latest Christmas drawings called “Bliss.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: Bliss.