Today’s devotional is written by Susan Satterwhite
Away in a manger
Away in a manger no crib for a bed
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.
The cattle are lowing the baby awakes
But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.
I love you Lord Jesus; look down from the sky
And stay by my side until morning is nigh.
Be near me Lord Jesus I ask you to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in your tender care,
And fit us for heaven, to live with you there.
This is my favorite Christmas carol. In fact, I find myself singing it throughout the entire year. It calms me and brings me a peace that I need in my day to day struggles with the busyness of all seasons, but especially this Christmas season. The words are exactly what I need when I feel like my world may fall apart. Just singing the words, asking the Lord to be near me, brings me the calmness I need. Just try it. It works.
Thinking of this makes me think of what really matters during this season. Is it the large gifts under the tree, the countless hours of shopping and wrapping, the messy kitchen from the holiday baking? I don’t think so. When I reflect on my childhood and the traditions that mean the most, it is the simple things. It’s the things that don’t take lots of money or hours of preparation.
I have tried to remember this in raising my girls and making the season what it’s meant to be. The small things are what matter most. This season I urge you to let go of some of the big stressors of the season, and try to find some of the small things that bring peace and joy to your life, such as grabbing your loved one’s hand while praying, sitting around the table to complete a holiday puzzle (ok, well this one is a little more stressful than intended), riding around to see the beauty of the decorations adorning our town. One of my favorite traditions is doing a Family Advent Devotional. If you haven’t done that before, it is really special to prepare for the coming of Jesus one day at a time during Advent.
Focusing on the small things will make the season more special. Baby Jesus was just a small little baby with so much promise for each of us. Our relationship with God started with this little baby boy. The small baby boy who was delivered for you and me, who became our Shephard, our Savior, our King – this is the good news of the season! As we journey through Advent may we focus on the “small things”– the little moments with our family, the beautiful colors and sounds that symbolize all the season means, and most importantly, sweet little baby Jesus who became our King. Our God is near us even when we feel lost and overwhelmed by the commercialization of the season and when we forget, simply sing the words of this sweet hymn so that PEACE may abound in you and through you.
Dear Lord, We deeply thank you for sending your sweet son, Jesus.
As a little baby boy, he brought so much promise to each of us.
As our Savior, we ask you to bring peace to us.
Help us understand that we can’t control people, plans or circumstances, but we can yield those things to you and focus on your goodness.
Help us remember you are near even in times of trouble or times of worry.
As we journey through Advent we ask you to help us focus on what matters and to give thanks instead of worrying.
Forgive us when we fall short.
We love you Lord and thank you for all your many blessings. Amen