Worship Pastor / Composer Travis L. Boyd and his wife, Cynthia, provide inspiration and resources for the worship community and all believers through sharing the blessings of worship, faith, family, ministry, music, love, & life. We also share information about Worship Sounds Music, which can be found on our Worship Sounds website at worshipsounds.com ~ Downloadable Choral Anthems * Solos * Orchestrations * Worship Songs * Accompaniment Trax

Posts tagged ‘nativity’

Come and See

For unto us a Child is born...

For unto us a Child is born…

What would it have been like to be there on the holiest of nights, when God came to earth in the form of a precious baby named Jesus?

Have you pondered that question during this Christmas?  Would you or I have felt immediate peace in the presence of the Prince of Peace?  Would we have understood the significance of the gift?  Or, would we have been too caught up in your own lives to even pay attention.

What would it have been like to be there and simply be living life, unaware that the greatest gift in the history of the world had just been given…. to you, and to all of mankind?  We can look to the story for our answer.
It is the shepherds with whom most of us would identify.  Their vocation may have been humble, and God must have chosen them specifically to send a message that His salvation could not be bought or earned.  However, their focus on the everyday (and every night) tasks of life is the common denominator with us.  Some of them were probably asleep, and some were just doing their jobs.  Most importantly, none of them seemed to have had any knowledge that the night when Jesus was born would be different from any other night.
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In the account of the angels’ proclamation to the shepherds, their response to the events and their state of mind as the night unfolded was revealed four times (as told in Luke, chapter 2).
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shepherds afraidFirst, the shepherds were afraid.  A quiet night on the hillside with sleeping sheep had suddenly become an event.  The startling light was unlike anything anyone had seen before.  It was more than just light.  It was “the radiance of the Lord’s glory”.  The shepherds must have felt that they had been singled out because they had done something wrong and that they must now answer to the Lord because surely all their wrongs were known.  The angel had to reassure them by saying, “Fear not!”, before proclaiming the good news of the Savior’s birth and stating God’s intention of revealing His good will toward men.

The Shepherds and Angels
(from Luke, chapter 2)

8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them.
Angels tell of good news“Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

shepherdschristmas

14 “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

shepherds seekingSecondly, the shepherds were obedient (and perhaps more than a little curious).  They said to one another, “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing which has come to pass, which the Lord has made known unto us.”
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(If the Lord chose to reveal something this big to you, in such an astonishing way, wouldn’t you want to go?)
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Remember, though, that in order to be obedient and go to see the Child, the shepherds had to leave behind their livelihood (the sheep) and let go of the concerns that caused them to spend the night on the hillside (the guarding of the sheep).  To leave their posts and their responsibilities behind, they had to either be so caught up in the miraculous that they temporarily forgot the everyday, or they had to be trusting that the God who was big enough to do all that they had just witnessed and to fulfill His promise of a Messiah, a Savior, was big enough to take care of their concerns.)
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15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.

Thirdly, the shepherds were amazed and excited, to the point that they testified about all that they had heard and seen repeatedly.  They were so thrilled and humbled and joyous that they could not keep this good news (and the miraculous events of that night) to themselves.  They told everyone!

(Note:  The word “humbled” is used here because the focus of the shepherd’s retelling was the events and the Child.  We know about them today only because they were humble enough to be obedient and then were transformed by the revelation of God’s good will toward men, incarnate in the infant Christ, to the extent that they did not care what anyone thought and were determined to personally share the news with as many people as possible.  (Remember that they had left their job caring for the sheep in order to go and find the Christ child.  However, sharing the good news about what had occurred was more important to them than any concerns about their livelihood.)

17 After seeing Him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.

shepherds adore
Shephards return praising*
Finally, the shepherds were worshipping with joy Remember the description of the shepherds’ return to their flocks after seeing the infant Christ?  They were “glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.”  That is worship.
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20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.
*  Notice that the shepherds were not praising God only for the experience of seeing Jesus but rather for ALL that they had heard and seen.  Even the angels’ pronoucement, which terrified them at first, had become a source of joy and wonder and something else for which to give God praise.  The very fact that God’s holiness and power had been manifested to them on that hillside and in the person of the infant Christ gave them reason to rejoice.
*  Notice also that the shepherds had to obey what they were told to do before they were able to have the full experience of worship, joy, and wonder.shepherds at the manger  God announced His incredible gift to them and invited them to come and see.  Then, they had to respond… just as we must respond individually to God’s good news that He has provided a Savior for us.
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Again, God has taken the initiative.  He has provided a Savior in response to our need. laying aside His own glory and willingly experiencing pain and loss because of His love for us.  All we have to do is to bring our doubts and sins and fears to the manger and the cross, believing that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of the world,  and then laying our burdens down in exchange for His gift of salvation in Christ.
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He has given the gift.  He has issued the invitation.  Have you come?  This is what He says to you, to me, and to everyone:

Matthew 11:28

New International Version (NIV)

(Note:  Jesus Himself is speaking in the verse below.)

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

  • Psalm 34:8
    New King James Version

    “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”
God with us ImmanuelOur God has sent a Savior, Jesus, to rescue us from our own hardened hearts.
He chose to come to earth in the form of a Man in order to do what we could no do for ourselves.  He lived a perfect life so that He could, once and for all, pay the penalty for the sins of mankind.  To God be the glory!
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May we praise Him every day for that Holy night and what it means…
Emmanuel, God with us!
Jesus the greatest gift
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Here is a poem that I wrote as this Christmas and the Lord of my life touched my heart again through the message of God’s great gift.
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 Come and See

Come, lowly shepherds! Now, arise!
Heavenly angels fill the starlit skies,
For in Bethlehem, the promised Child is born.
Come, and see God’s only begotten Son.

And He will care for His flock like a shepherd,
He will give His life for the sheep.
His tender mercies will comfort the fallen,
And He will bind the wounds of the weak.

Jesus shepherd stained glass tallCome, wise men searching for a King.
Follow the star; your treasures bring.
For in Bethlehem the King of Kings is born
Come, and see this blessed, Holy One.

And He will rise, triumphant and Holy.
He will reign in the Heavens above.
He will fill the hearts of His people
And conquer hatred with His pure love.

Come, pilgrim seeking Heaven’s joy.
Behold “God with us” in this boy.
For the Prince of Peace has come to grace this Earth.
Come, and see Salvation’s humble birth.

And He will calm the storm of temptation
He will heal the sickness of sin.
He will break the chains of the pris’ner
And give new life to us within.

Come, wand’rer chasing empty lies.
Behold the Truth! Lift up your eyes!
For the Light of the World is here to set you free.
Come, and see the Lamb of Calvary.

And He will shine as Star of the Morning.
He will take your hand in the night.
He will slay the dragon of darkness
And fill the shadows with His light.

Come, seeker looking for the Way.
Let Christ be born in you today.
For the Lord of All has come to take your place.
Come, and see your Redeemer’s face.

And He will guard your heart and your tomorrows.
He will wash away every stain.
He will redeem each one of your sorrows.
And bring you joy even through pain.

For He is Lord, Messiah, and Savior.
He is Emmanuel, King of Kings.
He is the Alpha and the Omega.
He is the one of whom angels sing.

Come, and see.

–  by Cynthia A. Boyd
Copyright December 2013

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A Reader’s Theatre Version of this poem has now been added to our blog.
You can find it at:
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Come, and see!

Come, and see!

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This post was written by Cynthia A. Boyd

Permission for use:

“Come and See” may be read aloud at any worship service or non-ticketed event (concert or program).  However, it may not printed in any publication or on the internet without permission.  Comment on this post to request permission (unseen by the public, because our comments must be approved).  We will reply to your email address privately.

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Looking for answers for yourself or for a friend?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this post.  We hope that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.

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Christmas is Good News!

Good News!Christmas is good news!

It is the best news, because  we are not alone.

The almighty God of Heaven and Earth  came to us!
He is with us!

He has demonstrated His love for us in the most profound ways.

God so loved  that He gave

"We love, because He first loved us."   I John 3:19

“We love, because He first loved us.” I John 3:19

He gave  Himself.

God givesHe gave His best.

He gave His Son, Jesus, …fully man and fully God.

Jesus was born in the most humble of circumstances so that He, the King of Kings, could instead serve as our Savior.

Nativity John 3 16

He has experienced what we experience,

walked where we walk,

and lived in our fallen world.

God has chosen to share His longing for us to know Him and know His great love for us

in the person of

Jesus, …

His beloved, only Son.

God looked down upon this world, filled with hatred, jealousy, pain, bitterness, anger, loneliness, shame, murder, adultery, thievery, and callous disregard for others…

Jesus on cross  silhouettebaby jesus and lamb …and His response was… Jesus.

A sacrificial Savior,

a caring Shepherd,

The Lord is my Shepherd

Jesus on hillsideand a forever Friend,

Jesus is the Truth that God loves us more than we can comprehend.

He is the Way that has been provided for us to escape the power and the penalty of all of the sin and wrong in this world.

He is the Life

… the very life of God

that can be born within us.

Anyone who understands this amazing truth and responds to God’s gift of Jesus by saying,

“Yes. I receive Him. Thank You for THE Gift.”

will never be the same.

The Light of the World, the Prince of Peace, the Redeemer and Savior, Jesus, will be a forever friend as well as the Lord of your life.

Joy to the worldIt is possible to sing, “Joy to the World” in the midst of human suffering (even your own)…

… because our suffering is not the end of the story.

His suffering is.

He suffered death on the cross so that we might live

       abundantly,

               eternally,

                      and even joyfully.

God with us ImmanuelThe message of Christmas is that we need Him, so…

       … He came!

He came because of the darkness and pain of this world

       … and because of the darkness and pain in our own hearts.

Jesus loves you moreHe is with us.

       He loves us.

               He lived for us…

 … and He continues to live for us.

(The Bible says that Jesus is praying for us and preparing a place for us, even right now.)

But before He was resurrected and went to Heaven,  Jesus died for us.

He, who had lived a perfect life because of His great love and Divine power…

He, who was and is God.. in human flesh… the living Word of God…

He gave His all to show us  His great love.

 Jesus bowed under weight of cross

So, now, the good news of Christ’s coming has become all about  WHY He came.

He came because He loves us and we needed Him.

and now

Death and sorrow

and illness and pain

and loneliness and heartache

are  NOT  the

end

of the story.

Joy to the World!

Good-news-great-joy

Luke 2:10-11

English Standard Version (ESV)

10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

God wants us to know

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This post was written by Cynthia A. Boyd and was inpired by an interesting article about the fact that songs which share the message of the Joy of Christmas may seem incomplete, hollow, and even unfeeling to many people because the messages of “joy to the world” and “peace on earth” and holly jolly holidays may seem to neglect the difficulties and sorrows and tragedies of life. It’s so true that many people are suffering hurt and pain at this time of year and all of the time. We must always be sensitive to the hearts of others and acknowledge their sorrow and loneliness, knowing that devastation in the midst of celebration feels isolating and deeper still.

I must state without reservation that I do agree with the premise of the article I read.  This post is sort of an addendum.  Yes, it is true that we need to be careful to be sensitive to the hurting world around us and and to share the whole truth of the gospel and the fact that Christmas is all about the hurt and pain and God’s desire for us to someday dwell with Him in a holy place where none of the bad things exist.  I agree completely.

Stay with me here.  I wrote this article because the pain in our world doesn’t change the fact that Christmas is still good news since the reason for the good news, for the coming of Christ (and the perfect life He lived, and His death, and His resurrection), is because of our pain and our need for understanding the depth of God’s love and our need for being born into new life.  Not “in spite of”, but rather “because of” our pain, Christmas is good news!

Christmas is still (and always will be) good news!

Note:  Here is a link to the article I had read:  http://www.christianpost.com/news/rethinking-our-holly-jolly-christmas-songs-110783/
and on author Russell Moore’s own blog, where it appeared originally, @  http://www.russellmoore.com/2012/12/18/crucify-your-holly-jolly-christmas/

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Do you know Jesus?

The decision to ask Jesus to come into your heart and life as your Lord and Savior is the best decision you could ever make!  The one true God is ready to give you forgiveness and eternal life as soon as you understand your need for Him and believe on the name of His only Son, Jesus, for your salvation.  Here’s a blog page link to help you find the answers to your questions about Jesus.  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

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