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Advent 2018: O Come All Ye Faithful

As we prepared this year's Advent Devotional, we were drawn to the famous hymn, "O Come All Ye Faithful." The words describe the joyous moment of discovery as we as singers and listeners are invited to join in the journey with the shepherds and wise men as they journeyed to see Jesus for the first time. This moment of sheer joy at meeting the King of Kings for the first time helped to form the subjects for each day of the Advent season. Journey with us as we walk alongside these saints whose lives were changed because of an encounter with Christ, and in the process, may our lives be changed as well.

Merry Christmas!

For so many, there is something magical about Christmas morning. We have surprises awaiting us, as well as laughter and joy. It is almost like all things are made new as the dawn of Christmas breaks.

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Christmas Eve, a day filled with final preparations and trips to visit extended families.

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Two days to go, and we all have our lists. If we have the time, we check them twice, but most of us are just scrambling to get everything crossed off and done. In so many ways, Christmas becomes a season of anything but peace.

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For those of us in Texas, we love winter, mainly because it is so short. We have a few ice stir storms and maybe a couple of days of snow, but for the most part, it turns cold for a few months and goes away…barely disrupting our daily lives.

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Christmas is five days away, which means five days of scrambling to get everything done that you wanted to finish three weeks prior. Stores will have lines and lines of people, and every online shopper will be selecting the “priority shipping” option. The busyness of life speeds up as we approach December 25.

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If you haven’t heard it already, you will soon. There will be that time when you are watching some random movie or television show and a character will start talking about his or her “faith.” Or perhaps it is a public official thanking various faith-based groups, or describing someone’s deep faith commitment.

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Christmas has taken on various meanings these days. Whereas for many years, it was a moment of reflection on the birth of Jesus, today, it is a time of parties and presents and almost unbridled revelry. Materialism fills the airwaves, and people party almost to excess.

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