See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. Isa. 65:17-19 (NIV)

     Dear heavenly Father, I love meditating through the Servant Songs of Isaiah during Advent, because they remind me that the birth of Jesus wasn’t a “merry little” event. Christmas represents the fulfillment of promises of immeasurable, irrepressible, indescribable proportions and delight. I praise you that every Christmas is colossal—irrespective of the economy or our discretionary spending.

     With the first coming of Jesus, you inaugurated your plan to create a new heaven and new earth, from the stuff of this very broken world—a New Creation world in which you will find great delight. Though it will take the second Advent of Jesus, your kingdom has come, and it will comein fullness. I praise you for your generosity, tenacity, and felicity in doing all that you do, mighty and merciful Father.

     And you’ve promised to redeem a people from every race, tribe, tongue, and people group to populate that eternal world of peace and joy—a people in whom you find great delight and over whom you will rejoice forever. The gospel really is that big and that good. You’ve used stars, sand, and dust to describe the mathematics of your mercy. Free me from my unbelief, grace-full and loving Father.

     Because you have sent Jesus to us and for us, we live with the blessed assurance that all of our sins have been wiped away, and the glorious hope that all of our tears, likewise, will one Day be wiped away. Until that Day, free us to engage in your commitment to make all things new, where you have placed us, and wherever you might send us. So very Amen I pray, with great joy and freshly fueled hope, in Jesus’ exalted name.

(From Scotty Smith)

AuthorMatthew Molesky

I know we are still on this side of Christmas, but my mind is already moving toward New Year's Day. It's the time of year when Susan and I start talking (with each other and our Father) about how the last year has gone, and our hopes and dreams for the year ahead.

On that note, I recall something I read recently from Kevin DeYoung about regrets. It is a great list for some of the things I want to make sure happen in 2015.

We won’t regret playing hide and seek with our children.
We won’t regret turning off the t.v. and putting the phone away.
We won’t regret that one night (or week, or even season of life) we let the kids get happy meals just so they would be happy and we could survive.
We won’t regret singing the same hymns over and over until they became familiar enough to sing with the saints around a hospital bed.
We won’t regret the time we spent hiding the word in our hearts.
We won’t regret jumping in a pile of leaves every fall.
We won’t regret overlooking a lot of little things that bother us about our spouses.
We won’t regret kissing our spouse in front of the kids.
We won’t regret going to bed with a messy house if that meant we had time to chase the kids around in the backyard.
We won’t regret all the wasted time with friends.
We won’t regret laughing often and laughing loudly.
We won’t regret hugging our kids whenever they’ll let us.
We won’t regret the times the kids slept in our beds and the times in the middle of the night we had to carry them softly back to theirs.
We won’t regret being a little bit goofy.
We won’t regret asking for forgiveness, and we won’t regret forgiving those who ask.
We won’t regret dancing at weddings–fast and silly with our kids, slow and sweet with our spouse.
We won’t regret giving most people the benefit of the doubt.
We won’t regret commiting to a good church and sticking around.
We won’t regret learning to play the piano, read music, or sing in parts.
We won’t regret reading to our children.
We won’t regret time spent in prayer.
We won’t regret going on long road trips filled with frustrations, but full with memories.
We won’t regret letting our kids be kids.
We won’t regret walking with people through suffering.

[And...] We won’t regret trusting Jesus.

AuthorMatthew Molesky

On the Morning of Christ's Nativity (First Stanza)

John Milton

This is the month,
and this the happy morn
Wherein the Son of
Heav'n's eternal King,
Of wedded Maid,
and Virgin Mother born,
Our great redemption
from above did bring;
For so the holy sages,
once did sing,
That He our deadly
forfeit should release,
And with His Father work
us a perpetual peace.
AuthorMatthew Molesky