Saturday, December 26, 2020

Phelps: eternal Christmas

Saturday, December 26, 2020
    Feast of Stephen, Deacon, First Martyr
Meditation:
    [Angel to Mary:] “You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
    —Luke 1:31-33 (NIV)
Quotation:
In the pure soul, although it sing or pray,
The Christ is born anew from day to day.
The life that knoweth Him shall bide apart
And keep eternal Christmas in the heart.
    ... Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1844-1911), included in The Marching Morrows, Women’s Educational and Industrial Union, Boston: Merrymount Press, 1901, p. 178 (see the book)
    See also Luke 1:31-33,37-38; 2:1-40; John 1:14; 1 John 4:10-14
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You are present in my heart.
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Friday, December 25, 2020

MacDonald: The Christmas Child

Friday, December 25, 2020
    CHRISTMAS DAY
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”
    —John 14:1 (NIV)
Quotation:
“Little one, who straight hast come
    Down the heavenly stair,
Tell us all about your home,
    And the father there.”

“He is such a one as I,
    Like as like can be.
Do his will, and, by and by,
    Home and him you’ll see.”
    ... George MacDonald (1824-1905), The Poetical Works of George MacDonald, v. 2, London: Chatto & Windus, 1893, p. 190 (see the book)
    See also John 14:1-3; Isa. 9:6-7; Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 2:4-7
Quiet time reflection:
    Hallelujah!

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Thursday, December 24, 2020

Havergal: Christ is come to be thy Light

Thursday, December 24, 2020
    Christmas Eve
Meditation:
    In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
    —John 1:4-5 (NIV)
Quotation:
Christ is come to be thy Light,
Shining through the darkest night;
He will make thy pilgrim way
Shine unto the perfect day.
Take the message! let it be
Full of Christmas joy to thee!
    ... Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879), The Poetical Works of Frances Ridley Havergal, New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1888, p. 168 (see the book)
    See also John 1:4-5; Isa. 9:1-2; Mic. 7:8; John 1:9; 8:12; Eph. 5:8-14
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You are light and life.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Law: the second Adam

Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Meditation:
    So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven.
    —1 Corinthians 15:45-47 (NIV)
Quotation:
    The Christ of God was not then first crucified when the Jews brought Him to the Cross; but Adam and Eve were His first real murderers; for the death which happened to them, in the day that they did eat of the earthly tree was the death of the Christ of God, or the divine life in their souls. For Christ had never come into the world as a second Adam to redeem it, had He not been originally the life and perfection and glory of the first Adam.
    ... William Law (1686-1761), The Spirit of Love [1752-4], in Works of Rev. William Law, v. VIII, London: G. Moreton, 1893, p. 7 (see the book)
    See also 1 Cor. 15:45-47; Gen. 2:7; Isa. 53:9-10; Rom. 5:14; 1 Cor. 15:22; 1 John 5:12
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You are the model for all mankind.
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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Rossetti: Christmastide

Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Meditation:
    And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
    —Luke 2:10-12 (KJV)
Quotation:
Love came down at Christmas,
    Love all lovely, Love Divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
    Star and Angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
    Love Incarnate, Love Divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
    But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
    Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
    Love for plea and gift and sign.
    ... Christina Rossetti (1830-1894), Christina Rossetti: the complete poems, London: Penguin Classics, 2001, p. 423 (see the book)
    See also Luke 2:10-12; Matt. 1:20-21; 18:11; John 3:16-17; Eph. 1:3-6
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You are known by love.

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Monday, December 21, 2020

Markham: in Christ

Monday, December 21, 2020
Meditation:
    Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
    —Romans 13:10 (NIV)
Quotation:
Here is the Truth in a little creed,
    Enough for all the roads we go:
In Love is all the law we need,
    In Christ is all the God we know.
    ... Edwin Markham (1852-1940), included in Masterpieces of Religious Verse, James Dalton Morrison, ed., New York: Harper & Bros., 1948, p. 140 (see the book)
    See also Rom. 13:10; Matt. 7:13-14; 11:27; John 14:9; Col. 3:11
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Love and Christ are the foundations of reality.
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Sunday, December 20, 2020

Bonhoeffer: timely self-exam

Sunday, December 20, 2020
    Advent IV
Meditation:
    Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
    —Revelation 3:20 (KJV)
Quotation:
    When the old Christianity spoke of the return of the Lord Jesus, they thought of a great day of judgment. Even though this thought may appear to us to be so unlike Christmas, it is original Christianity and to be taken extremely seriously. When we hear Jesus knocking, our conscience first of all pricks us: Are we rightly prepared? Is our heart capable of becoming God’s dwelling place? Thus Advent becomes a time of self-examination.
    ... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), A Testament to Freedom: the essential writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Geffrey B. Kelly, F. Burton Nelson, eds., HarperCollins, 1995, p. 185 (see the book)
    See also Rev. 3:20; Matt. 5:15-16; Luke 11:33-36; Rom. 8:9; Eph. 3:16-18; 1 Pet. 3:15-22; 1 John 3:21
Quiet time reflection:
    Dwell in me, Lord, and displace all that is worthless in my heart.
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