Offering praise

As I read about Jesus’ birth in the gospels of Matthew and Luke, I notice how often the people of this story break out into spontaneous praises to God.  Elizabeth when she becomes pregnant as an old woman.  Mary when she arrives in Jerusalem and is first greeted by Elizabeth.  Zachariah at John’s birth.  The angels in heaven.  And on and on.

Joy

It’s the story of ordinary people living out their ordinary lives when extraordinary things begin to happen.  And they are filled with awe.

And I ask a question:  Have we lost the wonder of Christmas?

Do we still see the beauty, the miracle, the glory of this story of stories?  Or has it become too familiar and common because we’ve heard it so many times.

This is a season to offer praise.  Every day.  For lavish gifts. From a benevolent God.

I’ve been a fan of Ann Voskamp for a long time.  I follow her blog, read her books, do her Bible study.  She challenges me to write down three gifts every day, on my best of days and worst of days.  There is always, always something for which to give thanks and offer praise to the One who provides all things for me.

So I throw out a challenge.  Can we take five or ten minutes at the end of each day for the rest of December just to say “thanks” to the Giver of all good gifts?  Even during our busiest month of the year when we can get stressed to the max, can we stop the madness of lists and traffic and headaches to acknowledge that we are blessed indeed, blessed beyond measure,  blessed more than we deserve?

Pick a journal or a notepad or a scrap of paper and write them down.  The mere act of writing is important.  It is intentional, purposeful, and has the potential to makes us more observant and not forget all His benefits.

Ann tells us how being thankful can do radical things for our world.  Listen with me, will you please, and maybe we can change the way we think and live and grow in grace.

We might just break out into spontaneous praise and song.  “Glory to God in the highest.”

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