This is the eighty-fifth lesson in author and pastor Mel Lawrenz’ How to Live the Bible series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, they can get more info and sign up to receive these essays via email here.
See Mel Lawrenz’s new book, Christmas Joy for Kids: A Devotional.
For this week, here’s a Christmas blessing for personal or church use (including printable PDF version; permission granted to reproduce in full form). Christ has come!
The Christmas season is full of so many competing influences. Parties and shopping and events and decorations. Of course, we all want to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. To keep Christ at the center of Christmas. This is not hard to do, if we commit to it. Hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus the prophet Isaiah said these amazing words: “to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6). There is much to focus on here. And prayer will help us keep focus…
In these weeks leading up to Christmas we long to know the meaning, the power, and the mystery of that great mission whereby you came to save us from our sins.
Help us to focus on the good news that has caused great joy for people around the world and across the ages. We are in awe that the coming of the Lord Jesus has shaped the history of the world and has changed untold millions of lives. We need this gospel in troubled times lest we become cynical, doubtful, fearful, or vengeful. Strengthen our faith during challenging times.
We rejoice in the proclamation of Immanuel, God with us. As Isaiah said, “to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” [Isaiah 9:6]
We need the governing of the Lord Christ because humanity is so out of control.
We need the “Wonderful Counselor” because we wander in ignorance and foolishness so much of the time.
We need the savior who is “Mighty God,” able to save and preserve.
We need an “Everlasting Father” who protects us and provides not what we think we need but what we truly need.
We need the “Prince of Peace” because of the tensions between the nations of the world, because there are thousands of people whose hearts are dark with thoughts of murder and terrorism, and because even friends and family members so often battle with each other.
We have always needed a savior. Now more than ever.
In the name of the Jesus the Christ, Son of God, Savior. Amen.
[from Prayers for Our Lives by Mel Lawrenz]
[Prayers for Our LivesA Book of Prayers for Kids by Mel Lawrenz, for the kids we love, this Christmas]
Here is “A Prayer for the Christmas Season”
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Mel Lawrenz (@MelLawrenz) trains an international network of Christian leaders, ministry pioneers, and thought-leaders. He served as senior pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, for ten years and now serves as Elmbrook’s minister at large. He has a PhD in the history of Christian thought and is on the adjunct faculty of Trinity International University. Mel is the author of 18 books, including How to Understand the Bible—A Simple Guide and Spiritual Influence: the Hidden Power Behind Leadership (Zondervan, 2012). See more of Mel’s writing at WordWay.