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The Upper Room Devotion for Thursday August 10th, 2023 was written by Steve Schlesselman from Oklahoma, USA



1In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Luke 2:1-7 NRSV



Every Christmas season, we buy poinsettias to help us celebrate Christ's birthday. bright red, pure white, or variegated blooms add a festive atmosphere wherever they are. Some say the flower represents the star that led the wise men to Bethlehem. For others, the white blooms syhmbolize purity. This year I have found new meaning in the plant; it is a reminder that Christ is always with us.

Usually after putting away the Christmas decorations, we get back to normal life and forget about our poinsettia. But last Christmas, my family did something different. Instead of neglecting it until it withered away, we placed our poinsettia on our kitchen counter where we see it every day and are reminded of the wonder of Christmas, when Christ came to earth. We water it as needed, and it is still beautiful, even producing new leaves at the end of September.

This plant reminds me of the love that God showed us in sending God's own son to earth. Seeing the still-living poinsettia reminds me that God lives and never leaves us. Indeed, our Lord is with us every day, all year long, even "to the end of the age."


Thought for the Day

How can I share the miracle of Christmas with others today?



Faithful God, thank you for sending Jesus to be with us always, each and every day. Amen.


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