Meditating on Hope: December 12

12_Devotions6By Becky Ahlberg

Saturday, December 12

An interesting juxtaposition today: Read Philippians 2:3-11 through the lens of Christmas. The phrase he “emptied Himself” (v. 7, New American Standard Bible) describes Jesus’ perfect Christmas gift to us. Then read (or better yet, sing!) the words to “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” and imagine yourself in the midst of that unheralded event. His ways are not our ways.

O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep,
The silent stars go by.
Yet in the dark street Shinto
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years,
Are met in thee tonight.

How silently, how silently,
The wondrous Gift is giv’n!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His Heav’n.
No ear may hear His coming;
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin and enter in,
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell:
Oh, come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel!
—Phillips Brooks, 1868

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