Ultimate Christmas Countdown – Saturday, December 17, 2016

8 Days Until Christmas!

Elf ClassroomSong: “Ave Maria,” by Rachel Lampa
Christmas Album: “Peace on Earth,” by Casting Crowns
Christmas DVD: “Elf”
Netflix Movie: “Christmas with the Kranks”
Amazon Prime Movie: “Frasier: Frasier Grinch”
Feeln Movie: “A Dog Named Christmas”
On TV:
• AFR Celebration Bowl, N.C. Central vs. Grambling State, from Atlanta, noon, ABC
• “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” 1 p.m., FreeForm
• New Mexico Bowl, UTSA vs. New Mexico, from Albuquerque, N.M., 2 p.m., ESPN
• “Christmas Under Wraps,” 2 p.m., Hallmark
• “All She Wants for Christmas,” 2 p.m., Lifetime
• “The Polar Express,” 2:35 p.m., FreeForm
• Las Vegas Bowl, San Diego State vs. Houston, from Las Vegas, 3:30 p.m., ABC
• Raycom Media Camellia Bowl, Appalachian State vs. Toledo, at Montgomery, Ala., 3:30 p.m., ESPN
• NCAA Division II Championship, North Alabama vs. Northwest Missouri State, from Kansas City, Kansas, 4 p.m., ESPN2
• “Christmas Cookies,” 4 p.m., Hallmark
• “All About Christmas Eve,” 4 p.m., Lifetime
• “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” 4:40 p.m., FreeForm
• AutoNation Cure Bowl, Arkansas State vs. UCF, from Orlando, Fla., 5:30 p.m., CBSSN
• “Santa Claus: The Movie,” 5:30 p.m., AMC
• “The Christmas Gift,” 6 p.m., Hallmark
• “Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas,” 6 p.m., USA
• “The Santa Clause,” 6:50 p.m., FreeForm
• “I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown,” 8 p.m., ABC
• “A Pentatonix Christmas Special,” 8 p.m., NBC
• “My Christmas Love,” 8 p.m., Hallmark
• “A Christmas Carol (1984),” 8 p.m., AMC
• “Christmas with the Kranks,” 8 p.m., Lifetime
• R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Southern Miss, from New Orleans, 9 p.m., ESPN
• “Frozen,” 9 p.m., FreeForm
• “A Saturday Night Live Christmas Special,” 9 p.m., NBC
• “My Christmas Dream,” 10 p.m., Hallmark
• “Becoming Santa,” 10:02 p.m., Lifetime
• “White Christmas,” 10:30 p.m., AMC
Recipe: White Chocolate Holiday Bark

Quick Thought for Christmas 

Read

Luke 1:26-38

And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
Luke 1:30

Reflect

“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”

Those are some amazing words. Think about it. Of all of the women in the entire history of the world, Mary found favor with God.

How did that happen?

At this point in her life, Mary was probably no older than 14 years old, and maybe only 12 or 13. So in a very short time, Mary had lived a life that caught the Lord’s attention. There’s no way we can know what specifically she did to get God’s notice, but there are some clues in the Gospels that show us why she was so special.

First, notice that when the angel appears, Mary doesn’t flinch. Sure, she might have seemed afraid at first (which is why the angel comforted her with, “Do not be afraid.”) But when he delivered astounding news that she would have a baby in spite of her virginal condition, she wasn’t surprised. Instead, she accepted the news readily.

What many people miss is that Mary also knew the scriptures. The Torah was only read by men, but Mary apparently listened well when she heard the scriptures, and in Luke 1:46-55, you hear her largely quoting Psalm 103 and Psalm 107.

A very mature, smart and wise teenage Mary found favor with God, and He chose her to bear His only Son, who would redeem the whole world. That should be very telling to each of us.

God wants us to live lives that let Him find favor with us. He wants us to read and know His Word. He wants us to have faith in his works, and to open our hearts to the plans He has for us. And He wants us to truly love Him and have an active relationship with Him. We might not be chosen for such great things as Mary was, but God does have great things in store for each of us. And if we live in His footsteps, He can also find favor in us and unfold His plans for us each day.

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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