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Read Psalm 122. TEXT: And Mary remained with her about
three months and returned to her home (Luke 1:56).

Advent       Three delightful months. Mary and Elizabeth had
three months together to speak about God's gracious work
In their lives. They could talk about the future when their
sons would step forward and proclaim the grace of God. It
was a wonderful time of comfort, support and spiritual growth
for Mary.

But all good things must come to an end. Three months went
by and Elizabeth reached full term. With the birth of John due
any day, it was time for Mary to leave that sanctuary and return
home--to her betrothed husband Joseph, who will consider
divorcing her when he learns she is pregnant
(see Matthew 1:18-25), where neighbors might well gossip
and falsely judge her.

Christmas is drawing close, and we should take time to pause
and relish the wonders of this season. Though our neighbors
may not realize it, their Christmas lights point us to Jesus
Christ, the Light of the world. Their decorations remind us that
Jesus Christ has beautified us with His own holiness and purity.

Soon enough church decorations will go back into storage and
our lives will return to normal. Now is the time to bask in the
glory and wonder, especially as we approach the soft, warm,
wonder of Christmas Eve, and the joyous celebration of our
Savior's birth Christmas morning. Why not plan to spend those
special hours with your family in Christ, coming to His house
to remember and celebrate His birth for you?


Heavenly Father, help me treasure these days and moments
when we celebrate Your unfathomable love and grace in
sending Your Son. Gather us together into Your house this
Christmas Eve and Morning so that together--as Your family-
-we might fill each other with joy, love and peace, through
Jesus Christ, Your Son. Amen.

( Wayne Palmer Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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