December 28, 2020

Presbyterians Today, PC(USA)
Advent Christmas Devotionals 2020
"Let Us Light Candles"
The 12 Days of Christmas
Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and his anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds asunder, and cast their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord has them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, “I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.” I will tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”  Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, with trembling kiss his feet, or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way; for his wrath is quickly kindled. Happy are all who take refuge in him. — Psalm 2
Jesus, my refuge
One of my favorite childhood Christmas movies is the 1968 claymation production of “The Little Drummer Boy.” I still remember being a five-year-old wearing pink cowgirl boots and watching the holiday classic on the shag rug of my grandmother’s living room.

I also remember bawling my eyes out when the drummer boy’s lamb got hit by a Roman chariot while rushing towards the crowd gathered at the stable to see a newborn baby. It’s a scene that gets me every time. The little drummer boy gently cradles his hurt lamb, desperate for someone to save it. He spots the Magi who are on the scene and thinks, since they are wise, they will know just what to do for the lamb.

When the drummer boy gets the attention of one of the kings and explains the dire situation, the king breaks the news to the little boy: There is nothing he can do to help. The boy cries and insists. “You are a king,” he says. And here’s the part where my tears stream down my face. The king points to the baby in the manger and tells the grieving boy, “I am an earthly king, but there is a king above all kings who can save your little friend.” Perplexed, the drummer boy gazes upon Jesus. He gives the baby a gift by playing his drum. The lamb is healed. All is well.

Life isn’t that simple, though, nor does it always have a happy ending of a hurt lamb miraculously jumping up and down with joy. Sometimes our prayers for healing are not answered as we want them to be. Yet, no matter what life’s circumstances, I learned that Christmas on the shag rug in my grandmother’s home to take my sorrows, my fears and my pain to Jesus first, rather than seeking answers from the limited wisdom of the world. Jesus, the babe, can help? Yes, Jesus, the babe, can help. Happy are all who take refuge in him.

Mighty and amazing God, on this fourth day of Christmas, I come to the side of the manger and gaze into Jesus’ eyes, for it is in your Son, where I will find the healing and hope I am seeking. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Go deeper
What is it that is troubling you this day? Is there a “little lamb” in your life who is hurt? Are you perhaps that little lamb needing healing? Imagine Jesus’ arms cradling you or your loved one.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009