Oh Holy Night – December 23, 2016
Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Luke 2:1, In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to their own town to register. 4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a Son. She wrapped Him in cloths and placed Him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. 8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.

Christ’s birth brought peace and hope to this world. The more we strive to look like Jesus, the more we will look life the peace that He brings:
This week we’ve been looking behind the music at some of the most popular Christmas carols of all time. Back in 1847, a young poet in a small French town was asked by the parish priest to pen a poem for the Christmas Mass. The request of the priest initially shocked the young poet who was known much more for his business dealings and poetry, rather than his church attendance. However, the young poet agreed to use his talents to pen a poem for the Christmas Mass. He read Luke 2:1 and tried to imagine himself witnessing the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. The thoughts of being present at the birth of Jesus so inspired him, that he wrote ‘Oh, Holy Night’

“Oh holy night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear’d …. and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!’

If your focus has been off this year, I encourage you to Read Luke 2 and imagine your response if you had been in Bethlehem that first Christmas! This is a new and glorious morn!

The Cottonwood Creek family and I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

John Mark Caton, Ph.D