Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | December 27, 2014

December 27, 2014 “God’s Ornaments of Remembrance”

O my soul, bless GodFrom head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name! O my soul, bless God, don’t forget a single blessing!” (Psalm 103:1-2)

“We started out bad, being born with evil natures, and were under God’s anger just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy; he loved us so much that even though we were spiritually dead and doomed by our sins, he gave us back our lives again when he raised Christ from the dead—only by his undeserved favor have we ever been saved—” (Ephesians 2: 3-5)

Good Morning Saints of God!

I was looking at our Christmas tree this morning, admiring the ornaments, and remembering where they came from. There are some from Frankenmuth, Michigan (a.k.a “Christmas Town, USA), given to me by dear friends after we visited there together. There’s an “Eskimo Nativity” I found in a store in Juneau, Alaska when visiting that beautiful state a few years ago. Still another unique ornament features an “Amish Nativity” I found this summer while visiting my mom in Pennsylvania. There are homemade ornaments from our daughter which she made as a child, and others from places I served on my ministerial journey. There’s even one our little pup Sassy received with her name on it. So many memories.

As this year rapidly draws to a close and as I considered those ornaments I decided to dig into the archives of these postings to see what “prayer post ornament” I hung on the tree last Christmas. I had forgotten that I had written about Robert Lewis Stevenson and his classic work “Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde”. Here is a bit of what I wrote last Christmas:

Robert Louis Stevenson was once asked, what was the inspiration behind this story, who is the model for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and this is what the author himself said:

“I found it in my nature.
He was a Christian and had learned that there is indeed inside of every child of God a Beast.
Every saved person has a New Nature and an Old Nature.
I find that there is always a struggle with the “Beast that lives within me.”

As I look back on the events of this past year and the life I have been living, I discover that Stevenson was correct.  There are times when the old “sin nature” wants to resurface.  But then, as he did with David, God reminds us of who we have become in our new nature with his own “ornaments of remembrance”, that even though we were spiritually dead and doomed by our sins, he gave us back our lives again when he raised Christ from the dead.” Remember! Let’s pray this prayer by Robert Lewis Stevenson together, and remember!

O God our loving Father, help us rightly to remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and the worship of the wise men. May Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy children and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts…”forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus’ sake, amen.”—Robert Louis Stevenson

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