But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41-42
Recently, a grandfather told me about his son, his son's wife, and their eight-year-old daughter.
The family had gone forth, as many of you will, to their local mall. Armed with credit cards, they were prepared to engage in hand-to-hand combat with other exhausted shoppers in the life-and-death struggle known as Christmas shopping.
The parents memorized the location of their car lest they repeat the folly of last year, when they had, like the children of Israel, spent much time wandering the lot, searching for their vehicle. In contrast to mom and dad's worries and concerns, their daughter was satisfied to be surrounded by the sights and sounds and settings of the season.
At the end of the day, they returned home.
The parents were frazzled and fatigued by the traffic, the lists, and the long lines, while their daughter was upbeat, as she sang and hummed Christmas carols. Around 10 o'clock, the still-frazzled father told his daughter to stop singing and go to bed.
Eventually, mom and dad went up to their daughter's room for prayers.
They found her window wide open -- not an especially wise move for a Wisconsin family. Dad asked, "Why is your window open?"
The awe-filled little girl replied, "I thought I heard the angels singing."
Dad popped his cork and shot back: "I don't hear any angels singing, and you don't either. I'm going to shut the window."
As he moved across the room, his little girl said, "Daddy, if you want to hear the angels sing, you have to listen with your heart."
To her wise words, I add and if you want to catch sight of the Christmas Savior, you must look for Him with eyes of faith.
My friends, this is the last devotion you will receive from me for a few weeks.
You will still be getting devotions, but they will be written by a good friend at Lutheran Hour Ministries. Unlike my daily sharings, these will, quite rightly, have a very specific Advent theme. It is my hope and prayer that you will, in these writings, hear the angels sing of the Savior who was born to rescue us from sin, death, devil and ourselves.
By God's grace, these devotions will help you, with eyes of faith, see this wonderful thing which has come to pass in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago.
Between now and when I pick up my pen again in January, God grant you a most blessed holy day celebration, as the Holy Spirit touches your heart with the story of God's grace, which came to us in Bethlehem. In short, may your heart hear the angels sing of God's Son who has come to take us from darkness into the Lord's marvelous, saving light.
THE PRAYER: Lord, there are many things I must do in the weeks before Christmas. May none of those things push Jesus off to the side. Send me the wisdom to join with the shepherds and kneel at the Bethlehem manger where my Savior began His work to save me. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
P.S. - Lutheran Hour Ministries is taking students on a virtual mission trip to Madagascar during Lutheran Schools Week on January 23-27. I have seen the material being prepared and I wholeheartedly recommend it to our Sunday and parochial school classes. (Adults will also profit.) This is first-rate material, and I encourage you to check out the link: www.lhm.org/onlinemissiontrips.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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