Encouragement for Today - Dec. 22, 2008
December 22, 2008
A Christmas Solo
"For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 (NKJ)
Though I’m an untrained singer, I had the privilege of singing a solo in our church’s annual Christmas program for over ten years. You can imagine how thrilling it was to hear the orchestra and one hundred voices behind me as I sang “Oh Holy Night.” Each and every time I sang that song, I was transported into the presence of the Lord. I felt as if my feet were leaving the ground as each note climbed higher and higher until the final crescendo. I think I now understand why angels fly as they live in God’s presence!
This wonderful annual experience came to an abrupt end several years ago after an illness and medical condition removed my ability to sing. My ability, but not my desire! While my mouth can no longer sing praises very loud, my heart still soars as I squeak out the words to Handle’s “Messiah.” I still love to sing spiritual songs, especially those of the Christmas season.
The Lord knows this, and has given me one of the sweetest gifts I’ve ever received: a new inward heart-song of worship and awe. Even with such a tender and lovely present from the Holy Spirit, I’m amazed at how easily I become distracted by the shopping, parties and food of this season. The “need” to decorate and bake often shouts louder than my need to sing my heart-song. While none of these holiday preparations are bad in themselves, they can easily overshadow the celebration of the birth of Jesus. The trimmings and trappings can far too easily eclipse the true meaning of this marvelous season, stealing my new heart-song and silencing my worship.
This Christmas I have made a commitment to concentrate on celebrating the name of Jesus by continuously singing my heart-song. It is the Name we bless in times of thanksgiving; the Name we call upon in times of trouble; and, the Name that brings us the love, joy, peace and salvation we need at all times.
Will you join me in making the name of Jesus the centerpiece of your Christmas celebration this year? In the midst of the songs your mouth will sing, ask the Holy Spirit to give you the gift of a new song in your heart. A new heart-song celebrating the powerful, lovely, wonderful, life-giving, everlasting Name of Jesus! Sing forth praises to the name of Jesus today!
Dear Lord, I bow before You as my Savior, Lord and King. I ask You to help me celebrate Your presence in my life with a new heart-song of worship with You as the centerpiece. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Do you know Jesus by name?
Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas by Sharon Jaynes
31 Days of Praise by Ruth Myers
For more ideas of celebrating Christ at Christmas visit Zoë’s blog
What can I change about my Christmas celebration to foster a new heart-song of worship?
How can I encourage my family to celebrate this Holy season with a heart-song of their own?
1 John 5:11, “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” (NIV)
Psalm 40:3, “He has put a new song in my mouth - Praise to our God…” (NKJV)
© 2008 by Zoe Elmore. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105