December 15, 2012


Responding to the question, “What is love?” a child responded, “Love is what you hear on Christmas morning when you stop opening presents for a moment and close your eyes and just listen.” Taking the time to stop and listen might seem like an impossible thing to do, especially during the Christmas season. Every day is filled with check-lists and an endless barrage of activities and events to attend. During this holiday season, make it a priority to stop and listen to the wonderful sounds of Christmas: children giggling with an excitement they simply cannot contain, strangers uncharacteristically greeting each other with words full of warmth and optimism, a choir singing, laughter around a dinner table, a bell ringing to remind us “it is better to give than to receive,” and the faint sound of someone sobbing behind a closed door mourning the loss of a loved one. Christmas is full of a multitude of sounds; we must take the time to listen and respond.

December 15 – 1 Corinthians 15:51-54  Hearing the Final Trumpet Sound

The season of Advent is a time of anticipation. In Jeremiah 31:31-34, the prophet expresses his eager anticipation for the new covenant, which was finally realized through Christ over 800 years later. Today, Advent should remind us to look beyond the manger, cross, and empty tomb, to anticipate Christ’s second coming as enthusiastically as the Old Testament prophets anticipated Jesus’ birth.   Can you imagine what it will be like on that day when everyone, from the dead to the living, will HEAR the final trumpet sound? That sound will usher in the time of The Last Noel:  

“All the Advent candles are lampstands of gold,

The tannenbaum, the tree of life to me.

The adoring Magi, the elders of old

Bowing down to cast their crowns upon the glassy sea.

Ev’ry angel trumpet, ev’ry Christmas bell,

Ev’ry Yuletide carol about Emmanuel

Just reminds me of the story time will tell

Of the everlasting glory of the last Noel.” Timothy Philen, 2007


· Ask a friend or family member to go to coffee or to share a meal this week. Make a concerted effort to listen. Ask questions about their life and their feelings and refrain from speaking about yourself when possible.

· Take time to evaluate how you have heard God’s voice in the past. If you don’t feel like you’ve had that experience, look for someone who has (family member, Bible Study member or teacher, etc.) and ask them about their experience. Spend some time in prayer asking God to speak to you in the coming days. Take time each day to sit and listen for his voice.

· For Children: What are some things you “hear” at Christmas that make you think of Jesus?