Luke 1:46-47 (Do you believe in Santa Claus?)

22 Dec Luke 1:46-47 (Do you believe in Santa Claus?)

Welcome God now with this LIFE Group Devotion (website, Facebook).
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior…” Luke 1:46-47 (full readings)
Pat’s Reflections: I can image St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) also uttering today’s verse. My 10 yr old daughter Paige asked me a few months ago if I believed in Santa Claus. I was anticipating this moment to reinforce our faith. I confidently said, “yes.” She then said some kids told her that parents are actually Santa. I reminded Paige that Santa Claus is based on St. Nicholas who was a generous 4th century bishop from Turkey who gave to children and the needy. [Paige spent her first two years of life at Incirlik AB, Turkey.] I then asked Paige who St. Nicholas imitated…she replied with a confident, “Jesus.” Yes, the name above all names…every knee shall bend! Finally, I explained that like St. Nicholas, most parents give Christmas gifts to their children and the needy because of Christ calling us all to be generous. The first Santa Claus is firmly rooted in our Christian faith. Do you believe in Santa Claus? I do!
* Christmas gifts for Unborn children:  standing in prayer at local abortion mill, giving baby items and funds to crisis pregnancy centers, loving confused parents, more prayer. Others?
Faith Challenge: Like St. Nicholas, let’s joyfully deliver Christ’s birthday gifts to children and those in need…and prepare to be blessed by God, the giver of all good things. Focus on the Family suggested some of these ways to help children keep Christ in Christmas: read Christmas story directly from Bible, help an elderly neighbor or struggling family, bake a “birthday cake”, [have them give some of their money/toys to the poor], make a list of gifts for Jesus like acts of kindness and prayers for friends/family. Others?
Counter-Culture News: LSN, Vatican, AFA, Priests for Life, Live Action
* We must embrace conflict: 14-year-old ProLife leader Lia Mills “described the anger she faced after her pro-life speech went viral on YouTube, noting that she even received death threats. She said, “The truth is that as pro-life people we cannot avoid conflict, but [we must] embrace it in the right way.””
* Why did cultural conservatives lose the battle over “Don’t ask, don’t tell?”: “Over half the country identifies itself now as pro-life….but will the country be able to sustain a culture of life, without a culture of traditional marriage and family?” This news is another moral relativism sock in the gut…sin continues to be normalized…even to the point of murder in the case of abortion. We love/serve and pray our way to the narrowing gate.
* Abornaments: These 12 wk baby models with hangers through their heads are being sold online as Christmas ornaments. This is like mocking baby Jesus with a mini crown of thorns. Abortion is evil.
Our Prayers: Prayer to end abortion, Alpha Center, Peters family (JP). View, add, update Prayers on our website. Let’s pray right now.
* Lift up your soul by singing today’s verse as a prayer of praise to our heavenly Father! * Dear Lord, help us to keep you at the center of our Christ-mas celebration, remembering that you gave us the precious Christ child who brought eternal Life. Amen.
Feast Day: Blessed Jacopone da Todi
Faith Quote: “Christ is the answer to our deepest expectations.” ~ John Paul II
Merry Christ-mas!,
Phil 4:13
* Pray/Fast: Prayer connects us with God’s will & His miracles, changing us & helping others. Fast from things that take your eyes off Jesus. Those who pray together stay together, and close to God!
* Save Unborn (& family): Abortion reality (images)…#1 death cause (23% pregnancies). Prov 24:11 & Jer 1:5. “A great poverty that a child must die that you might live as you wish.” Mother Teresa
* Evangelize:Make room for unbelievers & re-evangelization of self, by way of prayer (relationship) and following Christ’s example of love (service/sacrifice/mercy). Matt 28:19.

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