Psalm 80:3   Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved. (NIV)

I think a lot of people get nostalgic at Christmas. I know that I do. I like to think about years long gone and folks from my past who no longer walk the Earth. I sometimes wish I could sit down and talk to them, just to hear their voices, see the sparkle of their eyes, and feel the love and friendship that we shared. I carry their memory in my heart and see them in my mind’s eye, but it’s not the same. I miss them dearly and just wish I could have one more Christmas with them.

This, in turn, makes me wonder about Christmas in Heaven. As each year passes on Earth, do the angels prepare a wonderful celebration of Christ’s birth? Do they, like us, feel the mysterious love of God and proclaim the Good news of salvation, year after year? Do they invisibly gather above Bethlehem skies and remember the time they were sent to tell the humble shepherds that the long-awaited Messiah had actually been born in their neighborhood? I guess when we all get to Heaven, we’ll see how God celebrates the earthly and humble birth of His Son Jesus.

In today’s verse, the ancient psalmist asks God to make His face shine on His people. They are missing His presence in their lives and seek His favor once again. They want to be reassured that God is with them and they need to know that despite their failures, God still abides with them. They are looking for God’s light to shine on them, so that they can find favor in His eyes and feel the love that He has shared with them.

As we begin the countdown to Christmas, may we each be blessed with the love of God and the grace of Christ, as well as the favor of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Point to ponder:  Who do I miss at Christmas? How does God’s love help me, especially at this time of year?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, walk with us as we stumble through life and help us to hold on to Your love. Remind us of times and people from our past who touched our hearts and whom we still miss dearly. Keep us mindful of the joy that awaits us in Your glory that is yet to come. In Your Holy Name, we wait and pray. Amen.

Today’s image is one of John’s latest drawings called ‘Christmas Candle.’ If you would like to view a larger version, please click here. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to