This season, sisters and brothers, is not just one of fun, food and fellowship. It is not just one of parties, gifts, and toys. This season is the season of great joy.
This was the prophetic pronouncement made by the angel of the Lord that ancient night to the shepherds; “I bring you good tidings of great joy.” It was a pronouncement worth singing, shouting and dancing about.
This joy by which the shepherds were apprehended that night wasn’t just for them, this pronouncement of great joy was for all people. The joy of this season is for everybody. Christmas is for everybody.
This joy by which the shepherds were apprehended wasn’t of their own doing. The world wasn’t the source of their joy. “For unto to you is born in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” The quiet confidence, the singing, the shouting and the dancing are because the Lord has kept the divine promise.
The great joy that we have in this season is in knowing that the Lord is a promise keeper! The Saviour was sent as the Lord had promised. Joy to the world, the Savior has come. Hallelujah!
By Rev. Dr. Kelvin T. Calloway, Pastor, Bethel AME Church
Oddly, at a time of the year when we should be rejoicing over Immanuel; many are suffering from depression, sadness, brokenness, uncertainty, aloneness and so much more. The power of the Advent message is that through, the precious baby boy Jesus, we have the assurance of his prevailing even in times of doubt. We are not alone in this big world that is often unkind to the most vulnerable and can be difficult to manage in our own strength. The Advent message to turn us back toward Immanuel, to affirm that GOD IS WITH US! (and for us).
The Advent message also presents an opportunity, where it is possible, for each of us to give one another authentic love, begin to forgive, and make efforts toward reconciling important relationships that may be broken. Tis the Season!
For all I pray a simple prayer….Immanuel!
By Rev. Dr. Najuma Smith-Pollard, Pastor, Word of Encouragement Community Church
During this Christmas season we are bound to encounter the words, “Peace on earth,” either in song, a card or from a pulpit. With all the never-ending turmoil, the violence and unrest we see daily around the world, it’s hard to even imagine living in a state of calm. No matter how much we pray for peace, it seems virtually impossible.
However, God our Creator, in His loving kindness, sent His only begotten Son to be our peace. This peace that surpasses all understanding is the same peace that was miraculously conceived, born in a manger, and is now given freely to those who will accept it.
This peace is what Jesus referred to as a (spiritual) sword that will cause division. It’s not about family, nationality, ethnicity or denomination; but rather that we either accept Jesus Christ as our Savior or we reject Him. The peace He brings is the Holy Spirit that dwells within us if we believe, trust and obey God’s Word (the Bible).
So you see, we can have peace even in a sin-sick world that seems bent on destroying itself. Jesus came to reconcile man to God. He declared that no man can come unto the Father but by Him. He paid man’s sin debt on the cross and opened the doorway to Heaven. His peace is God’s gift to the world.
By Larry Buford, Journalist, Songwriter and Author