Heavenly Father,

Thank you for Christmas time and for the Christ child in the manger. The birth of your Son is interwoven with His spotless life, death, and resurrection. We bow in the face of such perfection, love, and grace.

Dear Lord, we are thankful that, through your Son, you revealed to us the truth about ourselves. Teach us what it means to allow your peace to reign in our lives. And may the fullness of the real meaning of Christmas transform us into the people you have designed us to be.

Joy is Jesus

Joy is Jesus wrapped in swaddling bands,
Joy is Jesus in Mary’s loving hands.
Joy is Jesus making sorrow sing,
Mending deepest heartaches—what a gift to bring!

For from the highest heavens, knowing well His plan,
God laid Him in our hostile arms, the precious Son of Man.
Knowing all before Him—the crib, the cross, the cost—
He came to die at Calvary and seek and save the lost.

That’s you and me and everyone who’s living on this earth,
That’s men and women, black and white, who need and want new birth,
That’s those of us with broken hearts, and those who celebrate,
It’s those of us who love and laugh, and those of us who hate.

If empty was the manger, and empty was the cross,
If Jesus’ tomb was occupied, then all of us are lost.
But here lies heaven’s treasure, God’s precious, dearest prize,
In Him will all our future hopes and dreams be realized.
So may His joy now fill you, and the peace of God be known
Till we celebrate our Christ-masses around our Savior’s throne.

Joy Is Jesus, Jill Briscoe © 1995