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Christmas 2021

‘Tis the week before Christmas
And what should I write?
I guess no-one has time
To read what I write.
So to save myself bother
I’m recycling some stuff
That I’ve posted before
And I hope that‘s enough.

(With some new thoughts and a sound recording for 2021)

My prayer below was written as part of a blogging challenge in 2013 for Christmas Eve. It remains relevant today.

O God, our heavenly Father,
We praise and thank you for your many gifts to us.
At this time of Christmas we remember your mercy
in sending us your son, Jesus to be our saviour.
We pray for all the people of the world,
especially for those who are in any hardship at this time:
the lonely, those suffering in body, mind or spirit, refugees and all those without a home.
We pray for all who are working to alleviate suffering, to bring about peace and to spread the good news about Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace,
who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit and in whose name we pray. Amen

The world has been a challenging place to live throughout the ages. Christmas services of Nine lessons* and carols begin with the story of Adam and Eve hiding from God because they had disobeyed Him. Genesis 3:8-15 It ends before the point where they leave the garden of Eden, often referred to as paradise. Genesis 3:23

*readings from the Bible

In the reading about the birth of Jesus from Matthew’s gospel we are reminded that ‘they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.’

The climax of the service is the reading from the first chapter of the Gospel of John 1:1-14. We are reminded that if we receive Christ we are given the power to become children of God.

In a Christmas concert this year I read two of my poems. Click the link to hear a recording of them I made beforehand.

My final recycled item is a Christmas greeting from last year with my colouring of Joy to the World by Isaac Watts illustrated by Jacqui Grace in her colouring book Images of Joy.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come; let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare him room. and Heav'n and Nature sing.
Joy to the World

My card is a reminder that Christmas is still about the positive aspects of God’s gifts to us including Love, Joy and Peace.

Whatever your circumstances at this time, I pray that you will be blessed with a knowledge of the Giver of all good gifts.

#Psalmtweets weeks 6 and 7

This is the next post in my series about the Twitter project I am taking part in.

The Psalms constitute a book of the Bible or more specifically the Old Testament. The Book of Psalms itself is divided into books. This post includes tweets for the end of Book 1 and the beginning of Book 2. In my New International Version (NIV) all the Psalms in book 1 are attributed to David.

Ps. 36: David begins with the wicked, praises God’s love&nature, prays for the upright himself, predicts enemies’ downfall 1/2

Ps. 36: It is easy to be like the evildoers David describes, unaware of own wrongdoing. #Psalmtweets 2/2

Ps.37: A psalm full of advice. Do not fret Trust God Do good Take refuge in God the deliverer

Ps. 38: David describes feelings of guilt and separation from God and friends. He asks God to save him.

Ps. 39: David’s silence increased his anguish. How long would he live? Emptiness. He hopes in the God, who teaches and saves

Ps. 40: The God of miracles deserves obedience. Those he saves from sin should worship him.

Ps. 41: Those who look after people in need are blessed. David’s enemies slander him. God helps David. Praise Him!

Book 2

King David’s fame was foretold in the Bible. But who was Korah? Are his sons more important than him? They were singers.

Book 2 includes various attributions – the sons of Korah, Asaph, David and Solomon.

The sons of Korah were singers. My research leads me to suppose that the Korah they were descended from (not necessarily their father) was the one who rebelled against Moses. Numbers 16. He died, but his children were spared. Asaph was a leader of David’s choir. 1 Chronicles 6:39

Ps. 42: The sons of Korah look to nature for images of their relationship with God he lifts the spirits of those hoping in him

Ps. 43: The psalmist speaks to God and to his own soul.Hoping in God leads to praise for salvation.

Ps. 44: When times are hard, like the psalmist we can look back on what God has done and ask him to act

Ps. 45: The king is praised, a prayer to God with his everlasting throne, advice to the bride of the king both promised renown

Ps. 46: a well-known psalm of faith in God who can bring disaster and peace. He is with us in our troubles.

Psalm 46 from Images of Grace

Psalm 46 from Images of Grace

Ps. 47: God is king of all the nations – not just of the people of Israel. He is greater than that and to be highly praised.

Ps. 48: In praise of the city of God, where He is present and will guide his people for ever.

Ps. 49: Advice to everyone against trusting in wealth. All die, but the psalmist trusts God to redeem him and keep him close.

 

#Psalmtweets weeks 4 and 5

Since 27 August I have been participating in a Twitter project to Tweet daily about the Psalms in canonical order – the order in which they appear in the Old Testament.

The next fourteen Psalms are attributed to David. It is interesting that the Psalms are not arranged in chronological order.

Where I had coloured a page or a postcard from the Images of Grace by Jacqui Grace published by Just Cards Direct, I have added a photo to the tweet.

Ps. 22: A prophetic psalm which speaks about Jesus Christ & events around his crucifixion & his kingship.

Ps. 23: Perhaps the best known of all the psalms. God takes care of us always.

Psalm 23 verses 2-3

Psalm 23 verses 2-3

Ps. 24: God created and owns the earth. How to approach him and letting in the King of Glory are themes

Ps. 25: David turns to God for instruction, guidance, deliverance, forgiveness, protection and redemption.

Ps. 26: David compares his life (trusting God) to the scheming of wicked people and praises God.

Ps. 27: God protects David (and us) from the fear of enemies. Praise and music result from life in God’s presence. Follow him!

Psalm 27 Verse 1

Psalm 27 Verse 1

Ps. 28: Plea for God to hear&be merciful to David, to punish the wicked. Song of praise for God’s answer&empowering protection

Ps. 29: An exhortation to ascribe glory&strength to God.The nature of his voice described. He is the source of strength&peace.

Psalm 30 Verse 4

Psalm 30 Verse 4

Ps. 30: Healing&mercy,anger&favour are God’s. David’s despair&wailing become joy, dancing, song thanksgiving.

Ps. 31: Verse 5 written by David was spoken by Jesus Christ and St Stephen the first Christian martyr as they died

Ps 32: Forgiveness & freedom from guilt are blessings from God to those who confess their wrongdoing. Rejoice!

Ps. 33: A song of praise to God the all-seeing creator. His unfailing love is our hope.

Ps. 34: Another prophetic psalm. None of Jesus Christ’s bones were broken, unlike those of others crucified.

Ps. 35: David asks God to fight his battles for him. He prays for (and against) his enemies. Praise and thanksgiving to God

With the character limit on Twitter, some of the Tweets are rather compressed. Other participants’ contributions to the project may be found using the #Psalmtweets hashtag on Twitter. (Or simply click on the link in the previous sentence!)