Colossians 3:15-17 (NRSV)

15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ  dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.   17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.   

Galatians 3:26 (NRSV)

26 for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.   

DEVOTION – Jacob C. Schneider (Maryland)

Every Christmas season one of my responsibilities as music director is to prepare a cantata with my church choir for our congregation.  This year we also presented the cantata at a local nursing home and invited the residents to join us in singing familiar carols.  No lyrics were provided for this special performance, but when I gave the signal for the audience to join in, the residents – even those with dementia – sang with all their hearts.  They needed no help in recalling the carols they loved so much.  Those words of God’s love were etched into their memories, and nothing could prevent the words from bubbling up from deep within.

As we sang of shepherds, wise men, and angels, we saw that although we had obvious physical differences, the residents and choir members merely belonged to separate generations of God’s family.  They, the older brothers and sisters and we, the younger were all simply children of God, saved by grace.  In that glorious moment of singing together, God allowed me a glimpse of a time when his entire family will sing forever in the presence of our Savior.  And what a choir that will be!  Hallelujah!  Glory to the newborn King!

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God’s children come in all shapes and sizes – and ages.

PRAYER: Thank you, Lord for loving us so much.  Help us to look beyond our physical differences and to realize that we all belong to you.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: NURSING-HOME RESIDENTS

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