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JOYFUL BLESSINGS 17

And you will recognize Him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger. Luke 2:12

The angel gave the shepherds a sign so they would know exactly who Jesus was. I love the visual wrapped into these words, though at the time they probably seemed a little strange. "Lying in a manger?" perhaps they thought amongst themselves. "The Messiah is sleeping in an animal feeding trough?" What could it mean? How is this possible? We'll see what they do next in a few days, but the angel's sign points them clearly. That certainly won't be hard to miss! I don't know about you, but I'm always looking for arrows and signs in my life. No matter what it may be, I want to find what points me in the right direction. And you know what? More times than not, the Lord points me back to Himself. It may sound redundant, but His Word brings me back to His heart every time. It's neither about the manger, nor the circumstances surrounding - it's all about Him! The manger was an identifier, not the identity. This idea reminds me that all the celebrations around Christmastime are just signs pointing to the true reason we celebrate: Jesus! And because of Him, we have much cause for joy. 

Let's pray together.

Jesus, You are the true, constant, eternal reason I celebrate during this Advent season. All of the celebrations and preparations are signs pointing back to the heart of Your coming. Instead of stressing to get my to-do list done, may I choose to be still in Your presence. Instead of saying yes to everything, may I say yes to less things, if that means I may be more intentional and present. Instead of focusing more on the gifts I give, may I be in awe of the greatest gift You gave me: Yourself. In Your Name, Amen. 

Blessing for little ones

Dear Jesus, I am excited to celebrate You! Christmas Day brings good news forever true. Help me share with others the joy of Your life today, and bless this season to be sweet in every way. Amen.

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