Ultimate Christmas Countdown: Thursday, December 8, 2016

17 Days Until Christmas!

Joyeux NoelSong: “O Little Town of Bethlehem” by Hillsong
Christmas Album: “Merry Christmas,” by Johnny Mathis
Christmas DVD: “Joyeux Noel”
Netflix Movie: “An Evergreen Christmas”
Amazon Prime Movie: “Paper Angels”
Feeln Movie: “Holiday Baggage”
On TV:
• “Looks Like Christmas,” 6 p.m., Hallmark
• “Elf,” 7 p.m., FreeForm
• College Football Awards (from Atlanta), 7 p.m., ESPN
• “Toy Story That Time Forgot,” 8 p.m., ABC
• “Taraji’s White Hot Holidays,” 8 p.m., FOX
• “A Christmas Story 2,” 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., CMT
• “A Dream of Christmas,” 8 p.m., Hallmark
• Thursday Night Football: Oakland at Kansas City, 8:20 p.m., NBC
• “Shrek the Halls,” 8:30 p.m., ABC
• “Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas,” 8:30 p.m. and 10:40 p.m., Oxygen
• “Disney’s A Christmas Carol,” 9 p.m., FreeForm
• “Christmas at Belmont 2015,” 9 p.m., PBS
• “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” 9 p.m., HBO Signature
• “Christmas Cookies,” 10 p.m., Hallmark
Recipe: Slow Cooker Overnight Breakfast Casserole

Quick Thought for Christmas 

Read

Psalm 72

May all kings fall down before him,
    all nations serve him!
Psalm 72:11

Reflect

We live in a world where a lot of “lip service” is paid to God, but not a lot of true homage and devotion is given to Him. If you read the Bible, it doesn’t say you show your love for the Lord by showing up in church now and then and reading your Bible when the mood strikes you. Instead, we’re supposed to show God our love for Him by living according to His principles every day.

The lack of reverence for God is no more apparent than in the halls of government. And if you look back at the history of kings and queens, you’ll find that even they – though they were supposedly chosen by “divine right” (meaning that God hand-picked them for the job) – most of them lived like they were God. A good example is King Henry VIII, who reformed the Church of England during the great Reformation of the 1500s. He supposedly was devout in his faith, and yet he still used the Church to justify divorces and executions so that he could find a wife to produce a male heir to the throne. Henry didn’t bend to God’s will as much as he used his authority to bend God’s Church to his will.

Today’s Psalm says that ultimately, all kings and queens – even the entire world – will kneel before God and serve Him. Paul, in Philippians, said pretty much the same thing: “…so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)

Santa kneeling to JesusIn the long run, every person who has ever lived will have to admit that God is King, and that Jesus Christ is Lord of all. During this Christmas season, one of my favorite images is one of Santa Claus kneeling at a manger scene outside of a home. It bridges the gap between the over-emphasis on Santa Claus and the missing emphasis on the birth of Jesus. It also fits perfectly with Psalm 72 and Philippians 2 – that everyone, even Santa Claus, will ultimately submit to the Lord.

If you haven’t already, start today to place Jesus at the center of your Christmas season. In the altar of your heart, make sure that you don’t find reindeer, snowmen or a fat man in a red suit, but instead a child born to be the Savior of us all.

Reflection  copyright © 2016 by Doug DeBolt.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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About Doug DeBolt

Capnpen is a writer who was a newspaper and magazine journalist in a previous life. A college journalism major, he now works as an administrator, but gets his writing fix by blogging about a variety of topics, including politics, religion, movies and television. When he's not working or blogging, Capnpen spends time with his family, plays a little golf (badly) and loves to learn about virtually anything.
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