Monday: Darker Days

I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

John 8:12

As the darkest day of the year approaches, I think of the Light. Jesus’s words, in the book of John, are reassuring to those who have traveled a difficult year. Even to those who have battled with sin and have lost.

There is no doubt sin brings elements of darkness to life. It is so easy to point out the sins of other people. Let’s read the verse a little earlier in this chapter, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” That line alone puts things in perspective.

We aren’t much different than the religious leaders and godly men who walked the dusty, crowded street with Jesus. In ways, we challenge Jesus by ignoring His words and turning to our own righteous ways. Unfortunately, everyone cannot be correct.

As darker days of December veil each new day, remember God brought “Light” into the world on Christmas Day, Jesus. He was sent to consume the darkness of sin so we could live in His light.

Merry Christmas, P. Wolf

Empty Manger

Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

John 8:12

What if mild Mary long ago refused
the holy messenger that came to her,
as weary, arid desert sands blew;
blew silently across lonesome land.

What if Joseph had turned her away
when angels visited his troubling dreams?
Beads of sweat warmed he’s worried brow;
brow burdened with disappointment.

What if the modest family had not gone;
when called to little town of Bethlehem
Tucked smartly within rocky, hilly earth;
earth set aside for the Promised One.

What if meager manger had been empty;
a sparse shelter that wonderful holy night?
No animals to sing His lovely lullaby;
lullaby hopefully for all of mankind.

What if burly shepherds doubted
the things they heard in night skies? 
Songs of the newborn Baby King;
King to reign in Heaven on high.

What if the wealthy magi turned back
tired of travel across new lands?
Weary of following the star bright; 
bright and brilliant across inky night.

What if Christmas was forever veiled
among gifts, garland and guides?
No baby King Jesus to come to save;
save sinful folk just like you and I.

May you have a blessed Christmas, P. Wolf

Kindle Sale

Merry Christmas

Starting later today, for one week, these three books are available on Kindle reduced to $2.99. I hope you enjoy them!

The Gift

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begottenSon, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Matthew 3:16-17

What holy Child lays to rest
upon upon the cold, brittle hay;
I’m told he is the One that’s blest
and will cleanse the world of sin.

What of the light in darken sky?
What will the anxious magi say;
when long years of travel pass by?
What does one hold carefully in tin?

‘Tis Baby Jesus who lays to rest,
as shepherds first made their way;
those willing to believe are blest.
Magi will wait for another day;

with their treasured gift to give
for soon this Little One will pay.
For all eternity, in heaven, I will live
May you accept His gift, I pray.

P. Wolf

Monday: The Magi

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the One who has been born King of the Jews? We saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”

Matthew 2:1-2

It’s wrapping time!

My dad always slipped me money to buy my mom’s Christmas gift just a few weeks before the big event. He’d whisper to me, “Buy something nice.” It’s easy to buy gifts for our loved ones compared to a stranger.

This reminds me of the magi. Gifts loaded on camels, rolling sand dunes to climb and that unusual light glowing in the night sky all adds up to a story. Whether they were philosophers, priests or astronomers the Scriptures does not say. But they were learned men; most likely from Persia or Arabia on a long journey.

Who were they searching for?

They wanted to find the King who had been born to the Jews. At the time, the Jews were anxiously waiting for the coming Messiah. By studying the Scriptures, from the book of Daniel (9:25-27), the Jews thought the time was approaching for the Deliver to come and free them from Roman bondage.

If we where looking for someone we would Google, Messenger or Facebook them to searched for the answer. Or if we were in need of a location, we would use our navigational system or a map. Obviously, these things were not around at the time of the magi. It is thought, at Christ’s birth, the special light shone in the sky. These men used the stars to map out their journey. According to most sources, that bright light remained until Jesus was about two years old. It may have been a two year long excursion the magi took.

Once in Bethlehem the magi needed further instructions, so the men inquired of those they came in contact with. What a disturbance they caused. Even King Herod became involved; along with the chief priests and scribes. Unfortunately, Herod’s motives were not to worship the King of the Jews.

The magi took incredible time to seek out what they felt was important. They also asked questions along the way. Once they found the young King, they presented great gifts to Him and then worshipped the King of the Jews, Jesus. These learned men invested time, energy and commitment to the task at hand. I doubt they left any stone unturned to find the King of the Jews.

What about today? How can we put effort forth in discovering the King of the Jews? Or should I say the King of Kings?

The best gift one can present to Jesus today is a life of repentance and devotion to the Savior of the world.

P. Wolf: seek, serve & worship

Meet-N-Greet

I will be a guest on “Journey with Jenny’s private Facebook site tomorrow, December 8th. Sign up and stop in if you wish. I will be introducing myself and the books I’ve published this last year. Jenny is also a published author. Her group is up-lifting and engaging.

P. Wolf

The Bough

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

Isaiah 11:1

I know not why spicy bouquet of bough
or gentle greenery against white snow;
stirs my Christmas memories long ago.

Perhaps, the off-shoot of holidays past
brings delights unknown of simpler day;
with tree and gifts neatly tucked away.

What of the blessed branch of Jesse?
A little star in Bethlehem did shine;
this gift God made man could be mine.

Come forth gentry, gather closely in to
gaze upon tender shoot and hope for man.
Humble Babe in swaddling was God’s plan.

King of Kings!

P. Wolf; poet & author

Monday: The Great News

After they had seen the Child, they spread the message they had received about Him.

Luke 2:17

Recently, I’ve slowly have been reading through the events around Christ’s birth in the books of Matthew and Luke. As I revisited this event, I was surprised to learn a few new things.

Bethlehem, which is just southeast of Jerusalem, is near a mountainous area. It is there we find the shepherds tending sheep. Sheep were used during the events of sacrifice in Jerusalem. The animals were of great importance.

As the shepherds watched for any prey which could attack their sheep, a great sight occurred in the dark skies above them. A multitude of angels praising God brought the message, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

The shepherds’ response, “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”

They left their valuable sheep behind, journeyed the rough terrain ahead and humbled themselves before a newborn Babe. It appears they had no second thoughts to their actions of abandoning their sheep. They hurried down the dark streets of Bethlehem to see the newborn Messiah. Then after their visit with the new born King, they ran to tell all the people of the great news which had been known to them.

What stood out to me was despite the difficulties being at work, in the middle of the night, they followed the angels instructions. Also knowing they were disliked by the culture around them, they did not think twice about sharing the message with everyone. They just went.

I know it’s a busy time of the year for most people. Perhaps, the joy of Christmas has faded due to difficult circumstances this last year. Yet, even today we can be filled with the same excitement the shepherds had on that first Christmas Day. How? Send Christmas cards to unknowing family and friends to announce the great news of Jesus, Christ the risen Savior. Or by telling a loved one of the true Christmas meaning and the greatest gift of all, salvation through Jesus. Perhaps, just opening your Bible and rejoicing in the fact that the promised Messiah has been born!

Share the Good News of Christmas.

P. Wolf

Christmas Lullaby

And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger…

Luke 2:7

Through long ages of carols being sung:
bold & bright on that holy night;
tell of wonderful sweet angelic sounds
when the first Christmas came around.

Listen, did wind whistle a sweet refrain;
as mourning doves called in rafters above?
What sounds did Mary make just before
Baby was born; hay scattered on floor?

Did the shepherds use coarse language?
Or did a big brawny brute play his flute?
What of the lost sheep that went astray;
would it be found by morning’s sun ray?

I ask you what classic carols were sung?
Joy to the World, when baby boy came;
Hark the Herald Angel, to the new born King; Away in the Manger, did young Mary sing?

No, I say, Mama just whispered a lullaby.

P. Wolf

Monday: Traditions

She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed;

Psalm 31:26-28a

Biblical tradition is rather understood as the fullness of divine truth proclaimed in the scriptures…

Wikipedia

As everyone knows the day after Thanksgiving, here in the United States, is Black Friday. I have never been a fan of the event. It’s even easier purchasing sales by remotely shopping on-line. No more standing in line or shoving in large crowds of people. Just deal after deal is available as credit cards are filled to the max.

I guess it could be said Black Friday is a tradition to some people. During the Christmas season many traditions can arise. It’s a time of making memories.

A decade ago, my family started their own day after Thanksgiving event. We call it Gingerbread Day. It has evolved into a special time. Weeks earlier, homemade dough is rolled, cut and then left to harden as it dries out. Then, on the day after Thanksgiving, we decorate and design gingerbread houses with the children. Lunch is always the same: French Toast, smoked bacon and homemade apple sauce. We top cups of hot cocoa with fresh whipped cream and listen to Christmas music. There’s an excitement in the air.

What is the purpose of this unusual bonding time?. Why should we celebrate traditions? It is because it brings us together with a main purpose to complete.

A tradition can be a simple event to a child. A bedtime kiss on the head, Friday night family movie time, attending church every Sunday or a special weekend event can become a treasured memory to a little one.

Mom’s are dream makers who are blessed to lead their children to spiritual places of getting to know God better. As in all things, we should raise our families as onto the Lord. The best traditions are enhanced when adding time to them by reading the Bible together, sing hymns or praying.

May God inspire you to build memories which last a lifetime.

P. Wolf; author & poet