Letters to the Family of God
by Joe Franzone | December 16, 2021 | Pastor's Blog
December 16, 2021
My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings, I will sing for joy.
I have a confession. My wife and I haven’t reorganized and cleared out our basement in seven years. It’s not that we are being lazy or even too busy. It’s whenever we start opening boxes that belong to our children’s childhood, we only talk and talk and talk about those beautiful grace-fueled days. In effect—we get nothing done.
However, even though nothing gets done by way of work, our basement remains unimpressive, our affection for our kids, and our heartfelt gratitude to our God, who made it all happen, grows. In other words, for us, this is a good thing.
It’s a peculiar grace God gives to meditate on (Him) in the watches of the night, and Christmas might be one of the better seasons in life to practice this time-tested grace.
In her book, In Search of Christmas, Pamela Kennedy takes her readers thru their Christmas paces. There are Scriptures to think on, poems to read, songs to sing, and bits and pieces of Christmas truth new and very old. It's one of those books designed to help us to think better about Christmas. I like the book because it helps me meditate on God, His Son Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the beauty of God becoming man to die for our sin.
God spoke His eternal wisdom in His word and shouted it through His prophets. Then, in an act of grace and mercy, God sent His only begotten Son to earth. He left the glories of heaven to bring true love to humanity. Neither time nor space nor even eternity can contain such a love, for it flows like a river to water the souls of generation after generation.
Pamela Kennedy—In Search of Christmas
Hot Chocolate and Meditation
We just put up our Christmas tree on Monday. Being pressed for time, it was my job to pick it out. It’s probably the worst-looking tree we’ve ever had. However, this tree reminded me of a longstanding tradition I once held.
At night, during the Christmas season, I would make a cup of hot chocolate, turn off all the lights except those on the Christmas tree and try my best to meditate. Life, family, vocation, and calling were the focus; trying to keep it all in the context of God’s grace and undeserved goodness, it wasn’t perfect meditation, thinking back, I should have meditated more on God as the Psalmist said, but it was a start. The help which came was true to God’s word.
Thinking it Through
Did you notice the examples of rich food (Vs.5) and joyful song (Vs.7) were the bookends of these verses? Rich food and joyful songs are part and parcel of all good celebrations, indeed Christmas celebrations.
It's no surprise God designed human beings to think. We tend to think about what has captured our hearts. The puritans would often say, tell me what your daydreams are, and I can tell you about you. Isn’t it a good meditation this Christmas to meditate on our Savior who came to live, die, and rise again to fix all that sin had broken?
The Psalmist message is clear; when I concentrate on God in my thoughts, when I think God’s thoughts after Him, when I meditate, it is like a great meal eaten (Vs.5).
You are going to laugh when I tell you this. The Hebrew word translated meditate is hagah. The Hebrew word is also translated to moan. Think of it like this. Just like after a good meal, many of us will moan something like mmm mmm good, when we think about God, who He is, what He has done, and what He has prepared for us, sometimes words are not enough. In our meditation, we might moan as one way to express God’s goodness.
Everything about the Christian Christmas is unbreakable, is eternal. The rich food, the joys, the songs, the gifts all have a good and necessary place. It has always been more blessed to give than to receive. But some of the deeper parts of Christmas begin in meditation on our God.
Oh, how joyfully, Oh, how merrily,
Christmas comes with its grace divine!
Grace again is beaming, Christ the world redeeming,
Hail, ye Christians, hail the joyous Christmas time.
J.Falk—Oh, How Joyfully
Merry Christmas, and God’s rich blessing on you.