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Week 38 Day 1
Rain is pounding the earth
flooding areas of poor drainage
gusting torrents at 50 mph
Today nature is harsh and overpowering
Tomorrow will be a day of clean-up
Someday soon the sun will welcome me again
Trees survive the beating
Birds return from their hiding
Puddles disappear underground
"Take the bitter with the sweet."
That was the motto I remember hearing
as a child from old Reuben
who farmed the land next to ours
Reuben knew both the pounding rain and the gentle sun
The first Christmas brought both bitter and sweet
that long trip to Bethlehem
came at precisely the wrong time
meant no satisfactory place to give birth
surrounded by strangers, at night,
a shed out back protecting them
yet animals provided warmth
shepherds and wise men visited
The same rain that bites my face and snarls traffic
waters the earth and nourishes all living plants
The same people who cause pain
are the ones who bring much joy
From adversity I learn much that is valuable
The greater the challenge the greater the joy in victory
The bitter and the sweet
confounding and confusing me
calling me to faithfulness and love
One word shines through the darkness in Luke's account
of the first Christmas--PRAISE
Knowing that in all circumstances
in the bitter and the sweet
God is in our midst
MANGERS, SHEPHERDS, AND FESTIVALS
Mary pondered God's mysteries; Jesus grew in God's wisdom.
8Now there were in the country shepherds keeping watch
over their flock by night. 9Behold, an angel of the Lord stood
before them, and 10said, "Do not be afraid, for I bring you
good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11There
is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is
Christ the Lord. 12And this will be the sign to you: a Babe
wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."
13Suddenly a multitude of the heavenly host praised God,
saying: 14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace
and goodwill toward men!"
15When the angels had gone away from them into heaven,
the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem
and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has
made known to us."
16They came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and
the Babe lying in a manger. 17When they had seen Him, they
made known the saying which was told them. 18All those who
heard it marveled. 19Mary kept all these things and pondered
them in her heart. 20Then the shepherds returned, praising
God for all the things that they had heard and seen.
21When eight days were completed for the circumcision
of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by
the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
41Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of
the Passover. 42When He was twelve years old, they went up to
Jerusalem according to custom. 43When they had finished the
days, as they returned, the boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem.
Joseph and His mother did not know it; 44but supposing Him to
have been in the company, they went a day's journey, and sought
Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45When they did
not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. 46After
three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of
the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.
48His mother said, "Son, why have You done this to us?
Your father and I have sought You anxiously." 49Jesus said
to them, "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must
be about My Father's business?"
51Then He went down with them to Nazareth, and was subject
to them. His mother kept all these things in her heart. 52Jesus
increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. This Bible passage was condensed from the NKJV
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The Bible Condensed. From Genesis to Revelation (Old Testament and New Testament) in 365 daily readings plus commentary. This Bible reading plan will help you read the Bible from beginning end, as one continuous story.