Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 15


December 15 – Shamrock

John 14:1-12; Colossians 1:15-20; Matthew 28:18; Hebrews 1

The shamrock is one of the best known symbols of the Trinity. Legend tells us that St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain his belief in the Holy Trinity to the High King of Ireland about 464 A.D. The astonished monarch was angry because he felt the idea of three persons existing as one was absurd. St. Patrick stooped and plucked a sprig of shamrock which he presented to the king saying “Here is a perfect leaf with three perfect parts.” At first the king frowned and then smiled with acceptance. From that time on, the shamrock has been used to explain the Trinity.

The second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, is fully God, and is also fully man.  Jesus tells us in the book of John that He is the only way to God the Father, but also that once we see Him, we have seen the Father also.  He is in the Father and the Father in Him in a way that it is impossible, with our sin-scarred understanding, to apprehend. 

Jesus is the Creator of the Universe and everything in it.  He is also the reason everything was created.  In another great mystery, Colossians teaches us that Jesus holds all things together.  One can only imagine His power holding each atom together; protons, electrons, and neutrons, in Creation.  If He “let go”, existence as we know it would instantly stop. 

Jesus is the Supreme Authority.  Every authority in every walk of life… government, business, law, medicine, education…, every person in the Universe, and every angel in heaven, will be held accountable by Him for their actions.  Christians, their sins washed away by Jesus’ blood, will account for their good works, or lack thereof.  Those who don’t know Jesus will be judged for all of their deeds, and face eternal separation from Him for their iniquities.

Jesus is the Source of everything Good in the Universe.   He is the fount of all glory, beauty, and power, flooding forth in rivers of peace, joy and love.  His words are absolutely and eternally true, and His person, character and works endure forever.  As the Creator of Time, Jesus is outside of it.  Jesus is the focal point for all existence.  The universe does not revolve around each of us, but around Him. 

Are there special gifts you can make or share with others in your family, in your church? Maybe a decoration for the tree of a friend would be the perfect gift. A shamrock with the Legend of St. Patrick would be good to share. As you make it, and as you give it, remember the second person of the Trinity, consider His attributes, and celebrate your peace and joy in Him. 


 

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

 

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

In Bethlehem, in Israel,
This blessed Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn
The which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

From God our Heavenly Father
A blessed Angel came;
And unto certain Shepherds
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by Name.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

“Fear not then,” said the Angel,
“Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Saviour
Of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan’s power and might.”
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

 

The shepherds at those tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding
In tempest, storm and wind:
And went to Bethlehem straightway
The Son of God to find.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

And when they came to Bethlehem
Where our dear Saviour lay,
They found Him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay;
His Mother Mary kneeling down,
Unto the Lord did pray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

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