December 14th – Welcome Guest?

One of the most well-loved poems about Christmas is an anonymous piece of five verses, all set in the background of a wealthy home and household in Jacobean England (you know, the period of James 1st, from 1603-1625 A.D.). It’s called “The Guest”. It begins like this:
Yet if his Majesty, our Sovereign Lord, Should of his own accord, Friendly himself invite and say, “I’ll be your guest tomorrow night”, How should we stir ourselves, call and command All hands to work! “Let no man idle stand!”.
Then follows a description of the kind of feverish and lavish preparations which we in that situation would make, to ensure that every detail was arranged, and every effort made to make the place beautiful, and the welcome fit for the coming of the King. Carpets, cushions, chairs and candles lighted on the stairs, perfumed chambers, extra staff on hand, all to honour an earthly King, with no regard to the trouble and the cost.This is the last verse:
But at the coming of the King of Heaven All’s set at six and seven; We wallow in our sin, Christ cannot find a chamber in the inn We entertain him always like a stranger, And, as at first, still lodge him in the manger.
Let’s take the message of this old poem to heart in all our frantic preparations for Christmas, lest we are so busy preparing for the party we entirely forget to invite, or, if invited, be ready to receive the guest of honour. But how do we do this? Well, in his own words, from Luke Chapter 18 v. 13
But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
A Prayer: “Into my heart, come into my heart Lord Jesus, come in today, come in to stay. Come into my heart Lord Jesus.”

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Thought 4 The Day

‘Every temptation is an opportunity of our getting nearer to God.’ (John Quiney Adams)

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