I grew up in a large family. As a large, poor family we seldom had a Christmas tree, much less Christmas toys. We waited for Santa Claus, but usually we got…a note promising presents “next year”…
Every year, we buy a box of candy canes and hook them one by one onto our wooden snowman candy cane holder that sits on the kitchen counter for the whole Christmas season. The candy canes look pretty, and I’m sure they taste delicious, but I couldn’t really tell you. That’s the funny thing: although we do this every year, I’m always so busy running from work to church to Christmas parties that I don’t think I’ve ever actually eaten one.
There’s a bit of controversy about where the candy cane originated, but most people think that a choirmaster from the late 17th century had trouble keeping his young choir in line. He decided to give them candy sticks to keep them quiet—but not just any candy.
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!
Luke 2: 8-14 (NKJV)
Merry Christmas, Divas. I so, so hope that you’ve enjoyed the Christmas guest blogger series A Very Diva Christmas. I loved putting it together! Thank you so much to everyone who contributed this year!
These scriptures are my favorite of the Christmas story, as I’m sure they are for many of you. I have them pretty much memorized, and that’s probably thanks to A Charlie Brown Christmas.
This year was very much a year of transition for our family (what with the international move) and I am especially searching for peace in the upcoming New Year. I think many are looking for peace in 2017 after the events of 2016.
I wanted to feature these scriptures so that we can remember to keep our hearts on Jesus, and finding that peace that only He can give us.
This is the last post of 2016. Devotional Diva will be taking a short break, and returning in early January.
Merry (or Mary!) Christmas and Happy NEW YEAR!
A Mary Little Christmas [Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Carla Gasser, past Diva Christmas series guest blogger, and the latest installment of the A Very Diva Christmas guest blogger series! All of these devotionals are inspired by the Christmas story — here’s Carla’s take …
A Heart in Waiting
[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Constance Darby and the next installment in A Very Diva Christmas. I hope you are enjoying our annual Christmas guest post series! Thank you so much to Constance for this Christmas devotional — it is very much her story, exactly what Devotional Diva is all about!]
Luke 2: 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.
I remember sitting in the Lawless Chapel of Dillard University, twelve years ago, as an incoming freshman. The chapel was filled with 17, 18 and maybe even 19 year olds all eager to embark on a new academic journey. I vividly remember the lady on the platform saying, “Look to your left, look to right, one of these people will not be here at graduation.”
So like all of the students I looked to the left and I looked to the right, and something told me, “You won’t be here at graduation.” I’m not sure where that thought came from, but I kept it in my heart. All throughout my freshman year, as I excelled in my academics, I remembered that thought from that day in August sitting in the chapel. I never shared this with anyone, not my close friend and roommate, nor my parents. I just thought about it often.
When I began the following school year at Sam Houston State University, I remembered that which had been placed in my heart.
After I graduated from college, I began preparing for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam. The exam was quite difficult for me and I struggled to pass it. I was sitting in church one Sunday, and the title of the Pastor’s sermon was “Four Days late but Always on Time”. He preached from the story about Lazarus being raised from the dead, four days later.
As I sat there listening to the sermon, something told me, “It will take you four years to pass the exam”. That was a very long time and to be honest a little disheartening. However, as I continued taking the test, with unsuccessful results, I kept that thought in my heart; four years. When I took the Auditing exam, four years later, I remembered what was in my heart. That turned out to be my last exam, I was now a CPA.
I can only imagine how Mary felt as she held the brand new baby that was promised to be the Savior of the world. Not only did she conceive a baby without knowing a man, now that Jesus was here, what would this journey behold? Luke 2: 19 says, “But Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.” I’m sure she thought about them when Jesus was missing in Jerusalem. Or maybe she thought on these things when he began performing miracles, turning water into wine and raising the dead. I’m quite certain she thought about these things when her son was being crucified, and I’m sure when he was resurrected. All of these things were in her heart. But what are these things? They’re the promises of God.
Every now and then, God places a promise in the heart of His children. It could be the promise of a decision that will be made some time in the future, like me transferring college institutions. It could possibly be a promise of the end of a long-awaited journey, like when I finally passed the CPA exam.
2 Corinthians 1: 20 says, “The Promises of God are Yes and Amen” (paraphrased). When God places a promise in your heart, hold it close, and think about it often. He will fulfill His promise to you and it will be for your good. There are some other promises that He’s spoken to me, and they’re close to my heart. I think about them during good times, and in difficult times. I hold them close to me, because I know what God promised He will perform.
Constance Darby has a passion for empowering others in both the Spiritual and Business sectors. This passion has allowed her to become a successful Brand Ambassador for her own health and wellness business. Constance Darby resides in Humble, TX where she attends Grace Church of Humble and is a Lead Teacher in the Women’s Leadership Development Class. Feel free to connect with her at TheJourneysofFaith.com.
A Blessing in the Burdens [Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Winslow E. Dixon and the second post in A Very Diva Christmas. I tried to make all of the posts flow well in the series. Since Alisha Ritchie’s opening guest post dealt with Mary’s response to …
I’m cooking up my 3rd annual Devotional Diva Christmas Guest Post Series and looking for guest contributors! (Wow, can you believe it will be my 3rd Christmas here at DD?)
Anyways, I’m looking for writers who would like to pick a scripture from the Christmas story to be inspired by (Luke 1 or 2). I’m thinking the Magnificat (Luke 46-55 would be a wonderful source!)
The Magnificat: Mary’s Song of Praise
46 Mary responded,
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
47 How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
48 For he took notice of his lowly servant girl,
and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
49 For the Mighty One is holy,
and he has done great things for me.
50 He shows mercy from generation to generation
to all who fear him.
51 His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
52 He has brought down princes from their thrones
and exalted the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away with empty hands.
54 He has helped his servant Israel
and remembered to be merciful.
55 For he made this promise to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children forever.”
Our standard devotional guidelines will apply: 500-700 words with a 3-4 sentence bio and a current picture.
If you would like to write a devotional for A Very Diva Christmas, please don’t hesitate to email me, Maggie, at editor (at) devotionaldiva.com