Friday, December 8, 2017

A Reflection of Christmas Past

A Reflection of Christmas Past
Romans 15:1-4

Far to the north in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow reflected on the days of Christmas past. The tragic death of his wife, Fanny, in the summer of 1861 brought grievous memories. Fanny dropped a match on her summer dress and it burst into flames. Henry tried to extinguish the flames with a small rug but failed causing him to sustain serious burns on his face, arms, and hands.

The coming of the holiday season in the Longfellow house became a time of sorrow. He tried to provide a happy time for the children left at home but was quoted as saying, “A ‘merry Christmas’ say the children, but that is no more for me.” His oldest son, Charlie, joined the Union Army during the Civil War against his father’s wishes. Charley later came down with typhoid fever and malaria and was sent home to recover. He did not rejoin his unit until after the Gettysburg battle of 1863. 

At the Battle of New Hope Church, the young Lt. Longfellow sustained serious disabling injuries. The following spring, Longfellow’s lifelong friend Nathaniel Hawthorne passed away unexpectedly in his sleep. These had been difficult times for the poet; but sometimes it is only through our adversity that hope makes itself known to us. 

The Civil War brought wounds to the heart and minds of the American people and they were in need of hope through their long journey to recovery. In Longfellow’s plight for peace and joy, he penned these words that touched the spirit and soul of a war torn nation.

“Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, 
With Peace on earth, good will to men.”

Perhaps you have struggled in times of deep despair, remember the words Longfellow composed, “God is not dead, nor does He sleep.” Trusting God with all things will give you the hope you so long for and the peace you desire (Romans 15:13).


Lord, may I abound in Your hope.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Telling God's Story

Telling God’s Story
Mark 4:35-41

The greatest hope of all Christian parents is to see their child one day come to the saving knowledge of Christ. Most parents would climb the highest mountain or fight the fiercest giant if it would assure their child’s salvation. As parents, we have the awesome privilege of being able to tell our children of the powerful, life-changing message of the gospel. The Bible tells us that the gospel is the power of God unto Salvation  for everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).

The gospel story is filled with breathtaking adventure, suspense and drama. Every young child loves a story that is filled with excitement and anticipation. Recall with me the the story of Jesus after spending much time ministering to the multitudes became weary and tired. Being fully God but fully man, He withdrew Himself to the stern of the boat to sleep. While He was sleeping, there arose an immense storm and the disciples became fearful that they might perish. The wind and waves were most likely reaching gale storm proportions. (A gale is a very strong wind. Not a hurricane but forceful. A storm may include rain, thunder and lightning, hail, sleet, snow or wind-––or a combination of them). If this storm was not of such an enormous magnitude, why were the disciples, who were experienced fishermen, so afraid?

We understand that the storm was to try the faith of the disciples and cause them to cry out to God. Their confidence was appearing weak and our Lord was assuring them that He had the power to calm any storm that they may find themselves in. His words to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” They were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” God’s wonderful, mighty power was made obvious to them that storm filled day. 

We, too, can share with our children the magnificent power of Christ found in the gospel.


Lord, thank You for Your incredible story.