'Day One' Blog

The Kingdom of God is Here – Dec. 24

Meditation for the Soul ~

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit.
They shall build up the ancient ruins;
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.
~ Isaiah 61:1-4 ~
“The kingdom of God is not coming
in ways that can be observed, 
nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’
for behold, the kingdom of God
is in the midst of you.”
~ Luke 17:20-21 ~

Reflection for the Mind ~

Merry Christmas Eve everyone! Thank you for traveling along with me these past weeks. I sincerely pray that you have been hearing from God and that these devotionals have helped that “hearing” to happen.  Our final thought today is one that requires us to zoom out from the manger and look down upon the earth from high above it. Why? Because when Jesus came to earth as an infant, His Kingdom came with Him.

We absolutely cannot separate the Christmas story from the arrival of the Kingdom of God. And yet we grapple daily with the fact that the Kingdom has not yet fully come. I’ve heard many preachers say that the Kingdom already present is really a kingdom within a kingdom. We are meant to live out the ethics of the Kingdom of God in the midst of the world’s opposing kingdom. We’re supposed to be displaying the values and behavior that will be the norm when Christ returns – all of which will appear radically abnormal until then.

And I think that’s where we stop to ponder and pray. Tomorrow is Christmas. How can you and I live as if the Kingdom of God has already come? Because it has. When you get out of bed tomorrow to commence with your traditions, how will you live differently as a citizen of the Kingdom of God? We might begin by reciting the words first offered from the mouth of the mother of Jesus. They are as true for us as they were for her: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name,” (Luke 1:47-49). That’s a pretty powerful opening line to begin the celebration of the arrival of the Promised One!

May HOPE, FAITH, JOY and the PEACE of God abound in you and in those you love today, and in the days to come. Merry Christmas everyone!

Response for the Heart ~

Lord, I bow in reverence before You… my soul magnifies You! I celebrate You, Emmanuel… God with us. I worship You King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I exalt You Savior of the world. I join the heavenly hosts and my brothers and sisters all around the world to celebrate the day that You came to the earth as a baby. Be glorified today and every day! All praise and honor and glory is Yours, forever!

Yea, Lord, we greet thee,
born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be all glory giv’n;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.
~
O come let us adore Him
O come let us adore Him
O come let us adore Him
Christ the Lord!
~
John Francis Wade
(translated by Frederick Oakeley)

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7 Comments

  • Julie Owens

    1

    Hope, Faith, Joy and Peace. Thank you Anne for affirming that which I already know but sometimes lose sight of. I've been blessed by His Word through you. Big love to you and John.

    • Anne Barbour

      2

      Praise God for His encouragement and comfort through remembering! Love to you and yours!! - Anne

  • Luann Budd

    3

    Thank you, Anne. I've loved walking this journey to the manger with you.

  • Kirk DeWitt

    4

    May His Kingdom break new ground in and through our lives tonight and tomorrow. May we see our citizenship much more clearly, with 2020 vision. On earth as it is in Heaven!

  • Colleen Coombs

    6

    Thank you for this lovely Advent series. It has been a daily blessing to me. This season has been difficult as I grieve the loss of my mother who went to be with the Lord last Christmas morning. Your devotions really encouraged me daily to focus on what is good and true and lovely in the midst of the grief. May you have a blessed Christmas and fruitful New Year.

    • Anne Barbour

      7

      Thanking the Lord for meeting you as you grieve! Merry Christmas Colleen!

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