Sunday, November 29, 2009

Family Blessing of the Christmas Tree

Many families bless their Christmas trees before lighting them. The evergreen of our Christmas trees is a symbol of everlasting life. It stands as a shelter over the Child in the manger. Here is a blessing you can use in your home

Our Lord Jesus Christ died upon the tree of the Cross.
He overcame the sin caused by our first parents,
Who ate of the forbidden tree of Paradise in the garden.
We trust in the sacrifice of Jesus, Whose manger points to Calvary.
If there is no cross in the manger, there is no Christmas.

Prayer: Lord Our God,
We praise You for the light of Creation:
the sun, the moon, and the stars of the night.
We praise You for the Light of Israel:
the Law, and the prophets,
and the wisdom of the Scriptures.
We praise You for Jesus Christ, Your Son:
He is Emmanuel, God-with-us, the Prince of Peace,
Who fills us with the wonder of Your love.
Lord God, let Your blessing come upon us
as we light this tree.
May the light and cheer it gives
be a sign of the joy that fills our hearts.
May all who delight in this tree
come to the knowledge and joy of salvation.

Sing together:
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, a lesson you can teach us.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, a lesson you can teach us.
That hope and love and faithfulness, are precious things we can possess.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, a lesson you can teach us.

Scripture reading – John chapter one (excerpts):
In the very beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. He created everything there is. In him was life, and this life He gives to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not extinguish it…The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him when He came. Even in his own land and among his own people, he was not accepted. But to all who did believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God…The Word became flesh and lived here on earth among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

God of glory, let our hearts’ door be ever open, ready to welcome the newborn King.
Let us offer the best we have, to Him who gives us everything...Amen!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Francis Schaeffer noted, "The beginning of human rebellion against God was, and is, the lack of a thankful heart." Our first parents chose to reject God's desire for them, and in return they reaped fear and despair. Their lives (and ours in effect) didn't improve as the serpent promised.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Prayer for Veterans Day

Lord of hosts, quiet heroes surround us. They are our doctors, our letter carriers, our machinists, our accountants, our co-workers, our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, our neighbors and our best friends. Under their civilian attire beats hearts that will for a lifetime be proudly wrapped in the uniforms of the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. We honor their service and do not take lightly the sacrifices they have made to secure freedom from tyranny, fear and oppression. These heroes quietly carry with them the memories of those who did not return home. We especially pray for those brutally killed at Fort Hood. Bring healing to their friends and family...and to us. We owe those who served our gratitude, and ask You to bless them and their loved ones. This we pray, in Your strong and mighty Name, Amen.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Another Wall came Down

20 years ago my family and I were in Berlin watching the wall come down. I'd been in Berlin as a child before the wall, and shortly after it was erected...and now it came full circle. It was the most amazing thing I'd seen. A German handed me a hammer and chisel and told me to take a few whacks at the wall. Had I tried that a year sooner, I'd have been shot. There was a feeling of celebration in the air, and even the East German guards were smiling.

But another wall has come down, the wall separating us from God. A dreaded wall has been torn down by the sacrifice of Christ, who removes our bondage from the tyranny of sin and sets us free. When I departed the 3rd Armored Division, I was given a plaque with a cross made from the rebarb within the Berlin wall and an enscription under my name: "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free", Galatians 5:1. In Him we are free indeed.