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The Joy of Christmas: The Message of Angels

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionThe Message of Angels

In the Word

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:13–14

Of the Word

The scriptures speak often of angels. The angel Gabriel announced Jesus' birth to Mary, and a chorus of angels sang praises in the skies over Bethlehem. Later, an angel warned Joseph to run to Egypt to escape King Herod's soldiers. The Bible often tells of angels protecting, guiding, warning, and informing God's people.

Angel means messenger, describing well the mission of the immortal spirits God created to carry out His will. God's people are also His messengers, sharing His Word and speaking messages of love and forgiveness. They help and encourage by reaching out to others, assisting in word and deed.

As children of God, we can use the gifts God has given us, touching lives in need and sharing His love and comfort.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, thank You for the times I'm privileged to be Your messenger to others. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. 19/32 Author: Patricia Mitchell. ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from The HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
 
 

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The Joy of Christmas: Peace and Goodwill

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionPeace and Goodwill

In the Word

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" Luke 2:14 NKJV

Of the Word

They shattered the darkness and filled the air with anthems. Those angels who appeared on that first Christmas night had an announcement to make, and they made it in a way matched neither before nor since in power and intensity. To this day, their announcement resounds for all to hear.

The angel chorus praised God, singing, "Glory to God in the highest." Then they went on to say two startling things,"on earth peace," and "goodwill toward men." Peace? Goodwill? Yes and yes! In Jesus alone we find true peace. The angels from heaven were declaring God's attitude toward His people — one of complete goodwill, seen in the birth, death, and resurrection of His beloved Son.

Despite our failings, God's loving kindness has never failed, and it never will. He sent Jesus into the world so we could see His glory, live in spiritual peace, and enjoy the gift of His goodwill at Christmas time and always.

Walking with my Lord

Embrace me with Your peace, Lord, and let Your goodwill fill me with praise! Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. 18/32 Author: Patricia Mitchell. ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from The HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scripture quotations marked (NKJV) are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
 
 

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The Joy of Christmas: Picture This!

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionPicture This!

In the Word

"We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." Matthew 2:2b

Of the Word

The story of the Nativity is filled with pictures. In your mind's eye, see the heavenly host filling Bethlehem's sky. Watch shepherds running to find the Babe in the manger. Imagine the Magi, richly-robed scholars, traveling far to worship the King.

Our mental pictures help us remember what happened long ago and also teach us important truths today. The angels set the stage by being the first to honor the newborn King. They announced the Good News of the Savior's birth to common Jews, and the star announced it to noble Gentiles, reminding us that God calls all. He turns away no one because of status, achievement, intellect, wealth, or race. Picture this: Christ was born for all!

As we listen to the Christmas story, picture everything that happened. The angels. The manger. The shepherds. The wise men. Picture it all, and come and worship Him!

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, I come to You among believers of all times and places. Help me to worship You. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. 17/32 Author: Patricia Mitchell. ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from The HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
 
 

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The Joy of Christmas: Life Light

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionLife Light

In the Word

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light … Isaiah 9:2a

Of the Word

As Christmas time approaches in the northern hemisphere the days get darker. The short hours of sunlight remind us that the year is drawing to a close. The lights in our homes go on earlier, and we spend less time outdoors than we did only a month ago.

We may notice, too, another kind of darkness — the darkness of families who struggle to make ends meet, who mourn for a loved one, who suffer serious illness, who weep in despair. This is the kind of darkness Jesus came to shatter. He came as the Light Who replaces the darkness of soul with hope, comfort, encouragement, and strength.

By the power of the Holy Spirit, God's people bring His light to a sin-darkened, pain-filled world. The Gospel's Good News gives hope to the hopeless. With His great light in us, we can reflect His light to all who live in darkness.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, light my life with the light of Your Word and the brightness of faith in You. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. 16/32 Author: Patricia Mitchell. ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from The HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
 
 

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The Joy of Christmas: So All May See

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionSo All May See

In the Word

"No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light." Luke 11:33

Of the Word

If our Christmas tree sits by a big window, we keep the curtains open so passersby can see it. We want them to notice twinkling lights, colorful ornaments, and holiday garlands. When our neighbors do the same thing, the whole block looks festive and bright!

While few would dim the lights of their trees by pulling the curtains, many of us dim the Christmas story by drawing a curtain around our faith. We go along with the world's holiday themes, keeping the true reason for all the merriment confined to our homes, our churches, and our hearts. We talk about gifts and elves and Santa Claus, not wanting to offend anyone by speaking of the Christ Child born in a manger on a silent night in Bethlehem.

Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we can pull open the curtains we draw around our faith. He gives us the confidence to be who we are — lights shining as brightly as candles on a dark night. By God's grace, we can tell the real Christmas story.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, send Your Spirit into our hearts so we may shine the light of Your Gospel for others to see. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. 15/32 Author: Patricia Mitchell. ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from The HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
 
 

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The Joy of Christmas: God With Us

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionGod With Us

In the Word

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14

Of the Word

What's your name? When your loved ones hear your name, they picture you — your face, your voice, even your personality. With your name comes the image of you!

Through the prophet Isaiah, God gave Jesus the name Immanuel, which means "God with us." When we hear this name, we think of God's Son being born among people, becoming a true human being yet remaining fully God. The name Immanuel reminds us that God was present in the manger on that first Christmas night, and He is also present in our lives today.

Immanuel! Picture Him lying in a manger. Hear His voice preaching to the crowds, comforting the sick, and inviting us to come to Him so He may give us rest. See Him as a Man, dying on the cross, and imagine His stunning presence on that first Easter morning. Listen to His name — Immanuel — and know that God is with us always.

Walking with my Lord

Immanuel, come into my life and make Your presence known through Your Word and Sacraments. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. 14/32 Author: Patricia Mitchell. ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from The HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
 
 

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The Joy of Christmas: Crown of Righteousness

Mustard Seed Daily DevotionCrown of Righteousness

In the Word

Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness … 2 Timothy 4:8a

Of the Word

All it takes is construction paper, scissors, paste, and a few glue-on sequins to make a fairly serviceable crown. Remember doing that as a child? Once finished it was worn proudly to proclaim the wearer as king or queen of the realm!

Though born King of Kings, Jesus never wore even a paper crown, much less a real one fashioned in gold and studded with jewels. Instead, He was given a crown of thorns in a mocking nod to His sovereignty, and He willingly bore the torment. Why? So each of us could wear His crown of righteousness! His is not a paper crown like one we might make, or even a royal crown of fantastic worth. His is the glorious crown of being right with God. This is the crown He was born to give us.

Jesus, King of Kings, calls us to come to Him in faith — faith in His birth, death, and resurrection. He invites us to kneel before Him as He crowns us "right with God" now and for eternity.

Walking with my Lord

Lord Jesus, King of Kings, rule in my heart so that I may receive the crown of life everlasting. Amen.


Mustard Seed: The Joy of Christmas. 13/32 Author: Patricia Mitchell. ©2011 Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, 3558 S Jefferson Ave, St Louis, MO 63118. www.lwml.org
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are taken from The HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved worldwide.
 
 

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