Danish churches are in the midst of Advent, looking forward to Christmas and festive celebration of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ to His virgin mother, Mary, in the humble circumstances of Bethlehem. Early on Christmas Eve, December 24, the shops and stores will close and the bells in churches all over the country will peal out the special det kimer Christmas chimes.
I recall from my visit to Copenhagen at Christmas 1952 that the church sexton went up to the belfy to strike the bells with a mallet in a continuous fashion, instead of the usual form of ringing of the bell, thereby calling the people to the Christmas Eve services. Presumably, these unique Christmas bells will chime once again in 2004. Christmas traditions persist and continue to be observed by many Danes, though by and large Denmark has become a very secular country. It is said that only 5% to 8% of Danes attend services regularly, but the services on Christmas Eve are the most well attended of the year. Det Kimer Nu Til Julefest (The Christmas bells ring out once more) is one of the most popular Danish Christmas carols.
PRAY that the Spirit of God will brood over Denmark and move in power amongst pastors and congregations of all denominations to bring repentance, revival and renewal from one end of the kingdom to the other.
PRAY especially for the Christmas Eve services in churches throughout Denmark and that those in attendance will hear a clear proclamation of the Gospel. PRAY that they will recognize that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is truly our Immanuel (God with us), born at Bethlehem to ultimately die on the cross as the once-for-all, perfect sacrifice for the sin and sins of all mankind.
PRAY that struggling new church plants throughout Denmark will attract those who at Christmas are hungering to have a personal relationship with God.
PRAY that they will find that relationship, in the only way it can be found, that is, through personal faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
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