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a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased’.”
– Luke 2:13-14 –
The multitude of angels (Luke 2) who announced the birth of Christ ascribed God as being “the highest One” or “the One over all” . . and not just higher than any other, but so much greater, His very power and love cannot be comprehended by any created being.
You see the angels got it right: the One who holds highest position demands our highest devotion and adoration.
Now that holiday traditions have kicked into full gear and our enthusiasm for food, festivity and football is on full display before family, neighbors and strangers alike, will we be found centering our supreme passion and highest praise around the One who is indeed above all the “stuff and stuffing” not far from our Christmas tree?
Not so easy for most of us, at Christmas, or any other time of year!
Rather than simply resign myself to culture, customs and self-indulgence, I am taking 29 days to blog about 29 of my highest praises for our Savior, who is Christ, the Lord . . our El Elyon, who took on human flesh.
on Day 2, I wrote about Bright Light . .
on Day 3, I wrote about With Us . .
“Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign:
Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,
and shall call his name IMMANUEL.”
– Isaiah 7:14 –
“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
– Luke 1:45 –
My 7th Day LifeNotes
so they offer customer loyalty cards that offer volume-based discounts or freebies.
Political parties spend millions to buy your voting loyalty,
oftentimes calling on you to look beyond a single personality running for office
and instead act on the “virtues” of said party and become a “straight-ticket” voter.
Remember when Cal Ripken Jr. was honored by the Baltimore Orioles
for 21 years of dedication and excellence with the team,
including appearing in the lineup for 2,632 consecutive games,
more than any other professional baseball athlete in history?
Conversely, Pablo Sandoval, a much heralded third-baseman with the 3-time World Champion San Francisco Giants
just recently walked away from one of the most supportive and loyal fan-bases any professional athlete has ever known
in exchange for $95 million and the chance to hit a few hundred home runs
around the Pesky Pole at Fenway for the Boston Red Sox.
Unfortunately, our minds are drawn all to often
to tragic headline examples of abandonment to loyalty, except loyalty to self.
In 1972 Jane Fonda actually visited North Viet Nam at the height of conflict
and condemned American POW’s as war criminals and liars in regards to the torture they underwent.
In 1953, Americans Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed for sharing atomic bomb secrets with Russian spies.
In November of 2009, Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. Army Major, shot 43 soldiers (killing 13) at the Fort Hood military base,
only weeks before he would have deployed to Afghanistan.
Prior to the shooting, Hasan had repeatedly expressed extremist views,
including e-mails to Imam Anwar al-Awlaki, also known as the “Bin Laden of the Internet”.
During the attack, he was not in uniform, but dressed in traditional Muslim clothing,
and was shooting unarmed victims while shouting “Allah Ackbar”,
which means “Allah is greatest”, a phrase often recited by radical Muslims around the world,
including when the twin towers were destroyed.
While it may be easy to separate ourselves
from the sensational accounts of broken loyalty in history,
the cross of Christ finds us all on level ground.
All of us before Him are nothing more than promise-breakers
and what we don’t need is religious zeal motivating us to try harder to be promise-keepers.
We need a Savior who will rescue us based on His character instead of our self-serving flawed performance.
Christmas reveals such a Savior . .
a Savior who chooses to get close and cover that which breaks relationship . .
if we will just dismiss all pride, and turn away from that which turns us away from Him . .
and believe He has come . . to us, for us . .
and to love a promise-breaking world . . through us . .
Can we trust and believe in Him?
If it was for Mary, it can be for you and I . .
possible because of grace, God’s grace . .
which gently whispers this Christmas season to all of us wayward sheep . .”
I am here . . for you”.
and fulfilling Your Word to us in Isaiah 59:20-21 which says . .
“’The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins . .
this is my covenant with them . .
My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you . .
from this time on and forever’. Amen”
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