Lord, may we all give you the praise and lift up your Holy name for Christmas this year. Dear Heavenly Father, we need to thank you for everything you have done for us since March 2020. 

I realize that we have something we have never experienced but only You are in control by your grace and mercy. It gave us more to fall down on our knees and pray more and look up to the heavens and say, “Lord I am so glad I am able to talk with you, and to keep my mind on you.” You said in your word, a mind that stays on You would have peace in times like this.

When you look around in the world, there are so many people standing in line for hours at a time getting boxes of groceries to help feed their families. People have lost jobs. Everything has slowed down except the word of God. 

This is why the Lord said, “Whose side are you leaning on?" I am leaning on the Lord’s side, what about you?

Every Christmas, we decorate our home with the nativity scene from around the world. We have a German nativity pyramid, a manger scene fashioned out of olive wood from Bethlehem, and a brightly colored Mexican folk version, our family favorite is the whimsical entry from Africa. Instead of the more traditional shepherd camels, a hippopotamus gazes contently at the baby Jesus.

The unique cultural perspective brought to life in these nativity scenes warms my heart as I ponder each beautiful reminder that Jesus' birth was not just for one nation or country. It’s good news for the whole earth, a reason for people from every country and ethnicity to rejoice “The Little Baby,” depicted in each of our nativity scenes revealed this truth of God’s heart for the entire world.

As John wrote in revelation to Christ’s conversation with inquisitive phrase named Nicodemous, “For God, so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

The gift of Jesus is good news for everyone, no matter where on earth you call home. Jesus’ birth is God’s offer of love for the whole world brings joy this Christmas season.

Father, thank you for providing salvation through the gift of your Son: Joy to the world. (Luke 2:10-11). Then a multitude of angles appeared “Praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth. Peace to those on whom His favor rests'” (V. 13-14). 

Jesus is the Prince of peace, who saves us from our sins (Isiah 9:6). Through His sacrifice on the cross, He offered forgiveness and peace with God to all who trust in Him.

James J.B. Miller is a resident of Lakeland.

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