December 10, 2020
Hope your day is full of peace. Another beautiful sunny day and I love to watch the sunrise from my study window, and by the time we finish our walk the sun is setting again. Today I did food prep and studied and this afternoon Al is having a friend from church over so I plan to go shopping.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
It seems like Christmas is near when we begin hearing the Christmas carols played or sing them in church. They tell the story of the nativity and some carols go back hundreds of years. But haven’t you wondered who wrote them and what the circumstances were behind them at that time they were written? On Crosswalk.com I read how several of them came about. Take the carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” which was written by a young abolitionist preacher, Phillips Brooks, who was an Episcopal priest. He gave the funeral address for President Abraham Lincoln but he was more well known for writing this Christmas carol. Because he was very tired from the years of war and wanting to find some peace, he decided to take a sabbatical to visit the Holy Land. He was moved to write a few lines of the poem while looking out over Bethlehem at night. The town looked so insignificant and the words came to him, “O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie. Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, a silent star goes by.” It wasn’t until years later that he continued to complete the poem and Lewis Redner, his organist, wrote the music. The Children’s choir in his church was the first to perform it and the verse was added to hymnals as one of their favorites at Christmas. Later salvation through the song was brought to Helen Keller, who at that time was not even born. Being blind and deaf she later met Pastor Brooks who explained the gospel to her for the first time through her teacher and translator. She responded saying, “I’ve always known there was a God, but until now I’ve never known His name.” I have not thought before of what the third verse would mean to a deaf and blind person but it seemed to perfectly fit such a one as Helen. “How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given! So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His heaven. No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin, Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.” In a spiritual sense we are all blind and deaf until we receive the Christ Child. Let us open our hearts anew to Him at this Christmas time.
Challenge for today: Thank God for the gift of His Son and proclaim His birth to others.
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy