They look somewhat silly perched on our heads as we gather around the table for our Christmas dinner.  Bright-colored, crinkly paper hats that never seem to fit.   Looks more like a poorly formed bird’s nest with my hair sticking up and out its sides!  But I wear my ‘Christmas Cracker’ proudly, enjoying other’s raucous laughter as they see ‘Silly Papa’ doing what he does best, being silly and fun!  My wife Sue continues her English tradition of those Christmas crackers.  She enjoys them.  That’s good enough for me.  Christmas crackers!

Psalm 103 is a hymn of praise to God.  When we’re stuck in problems, heartaches and headaches, turn to this psalm.  Good medicine for you and me.  Take the medicine…praise the Lord.  Sing His wonders and goodness.

I want you to notice all those powerful verbs that King David uses in this psalm–‘forget not… forgives all…heals all…redeems…crowns…satisfies…and renews'(Psalm 103: 2-5).  I’m still thinking of those Christmas Crackers that have little toys inside, along with a puzzle to solve or a joke to tell.   Of course, that paper crown to wear.  What a treat!

Verse 4 gives us a glimpse of a better Christmas Cracker!  We’re crowned with ‘steadfast love and mercy’.  God’s love that never ends.  His mercy offered as the gift of forgiveness.   God’s grace is getting what we don’t deserve and never earned.  His grace.  His mercy?  Well, that’s NOT getting what we do deserve.  I REALLY need that.  If He gave me what I deserved, oh boy, would I be in deep, deep trouble.  Am I alone in this?  He…’ crowns you with steadfast love and mercy’.

Look back at those vibrant verbs used in Psalm 103.  Do you notice something?  All of them are gifts from God.  All come to us because His Son Jesus gave Himself on the cross for you and me.  We can never earn God’s crown.  Never.  ‘His steadfast love and mercy’– these are His gifts to us.  I like that adjective ‘steadfast’.  Reminds us that God’s love is steady. Fastening to our soul with a super glue that never loses its adhesiveness.

It’s takes hold as fast as saying ‘yes’ to Jesus, welcoming Him into our lives.  Like a man and a woman, becoming husband and wife, by saying ‘I do’ to each other.  Two heartfelt words– ‘I do’– bind two lovers together in marriage which begins at that very moment.  When saying ‘yes’ to Jesus, you immediately experience God’s love and mercy, His grace and goodness.  All yours…from Him.  Wear them as the crown of your life.  Merry Christmas!   Rejoice in all those gifts God has given you!

Prayer:  Lord, we praise you for everything in our lives.  Praise you, Lord Jesus!  Amen.

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