O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray. / Cast out our sin and enter in. Be born in us today! / We hear the Christmas angels, the great glad tidings tell. / O come to us, abide with us, our Lord, Emmanuel.

from “O Little Town of Bethlehem” by Phillips Brooks (1868)

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The desert and the dry land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom like the crocus. They will burst into bloom, and rejoice with joy and singing. They will receive the glory of Lebanon, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the Lord’s glory, the splendor of our God.

Isaiah 35:1-2

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There’s this song that sneaks up on me at Christmas. You might know it: “The Christmas Shoes.”

The storyline and melody ebb and flow, swelling with strings and eventually cascading to the sole voice of a child as the song ends. How can one song cause me to well up when I’m only supposed to find tears of joy?

Despite any convictions on the song, there’s an important reminder: many face the desolate landscape of loss at Christmas. A lost loved one, a broken relationship, or even the pressure to present the perfect yuletide trimmings can leave us feeling parched.

Isaiah offers a challenge for us in the crocus flower: if we are struggling to bloom, where might we glimpse the renewed joy offered by the birth of the Christ child? If we are bursting with joy, which harsh scene might we help revive? Together we must share the joy and sorrow of the season, finding nurture in the living water we anticipate.

Daniel Potter

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You are the fountain of joy, God, as I await Jesus’ birth. Guide me forward today to seek comfort or offer care, so that I might soon witness the true joy of our Messiah. Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.

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Jesus is coming.

Our Savior is nigh.

Yearn for that gift,

and welcome its light.



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Daniel Potter

Daniel Potter is the Minister of Youth at First Baptist Church of Columbus, GA. Daniel is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity. In his free time, Daniel loves spending time with his wife, throwing a frisbee for his dog, cheering on the Tar Heels, and everything musical.

Divinium Mysterium

Nathan Hanson

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