Advent Devotional Week 4
Where is God? This is a question that gets asked all the time; even in Biblical times we hear this question echo. This is the reason many “deflected” from God, for they cannot find an answer. We as humans need an answer for everything. This week we are reminded that God is in our love.
Prepare and do not be afraid
With excitement we know the wait is almost over
For those who have lived in darkness, great light will shine
In Holy silence we sit
God’s glory will soon be known
Revel to us, O Lord, your plans
Good news of love is here
We are prepared to accept and give the love of Christ
7 days until Christmas:
Matthew 1: 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”
Joseph and Mary are to be married. In fact they are in a period of time that according to Hebrew law although their marriage is final they would still need to ‘divorce’ if they decided to go separate ways and it would be a scandal. So here they are: Mary has informed Joseph that she is with child; Joseph knows he is not the father. He has decided to discretely divorce her, end the betrothal. He does not want to cause her shame, there is still love there; he just cannot understand what is happening. He feels anger and betrayed. Just like any ordinary person would. Yet God asks Joseph to do something pretty extraordinary – to trust and to raise this child. Joseph is being asked to stay with Mary even though he is anger and to believe in something bigger than himself. And so are we. Christmas is bigger than us! Our Savior’s love is bigger than we can imagine. Yet we are called to believe, we are called to spread and more importantly we are called to join in that love.
6 Days until Christmas:
Galatians 4: 8-9 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. ×
References for Galatians 4:8
But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forcesa ? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?
Powerful words for us today. How are we changed by the fact that we have God? How does the birth of Christ, the Savior with us changed our lives? It should change yours. Having God in your life should change you. You should be willing and able to spread love, grace and most importantly God. It seem pretty easy to speak bad about others; it seems pretty easy to be anger when someone has done you wrong; and it is easy to hold onto hurt. Yet we are called to let it go. We are called to turn our back to the negative forces and freely follow Christ. If there is anything holding you back today, lift it up to God. Give it God and looking to the Divine see if your life can’t change.
5 Days until Christmas:
Matthew 1: 17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah
Do you ever feel like you can’t escape your past? Do you ever feel that you are paying for the sins of your family? That is how the Hebrews felt. In fact, in Biblical times you were responsible for the sins of your ancestors. Yet Jesus ended all that. Through his life and death he released us from our sins. This human divinity has offered salvation to all and for all! And it is important that Jesus is both human and divine. Jesus was not just any man who walked on Earth but was God humbly walking amongst us. It took the humanity in Jesus dying on the cross to offer salvation to us all. This passage reminds us of the humanity of Christ – the generations of people who waited for the birth of a Messiah. The many who willed and waited for a King, as King David, to return. Although Jesus didn’t turn out to restore the Kingdom of Israel, he has offered us a Kingdom far better – the Kingdom of Heaven. Rejoice!
4 Days Until Christmas:
Luke 1: 48-49 for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, ×
References for Luke 1:48
for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name.
Holy is his name! These are Mary’s words as she accepts with joy and no doubt a bit of worry the news of her pregnancy. This is not a small task that she is called upon for and yet she proclaims the great that is God. This is not a simple task she is accepting, she is accepting the birth of not just any baby but a special child – Jesus Christ! No matter the difficult moments she will face, she stands here calling herself blessed and rejoicing in the Lord God. What a faithful servant. Boy did God pick the right person. Would you have that in you, or would you be less than gracious? As we come to the Holy Christmas Season we must remember to be gracious for all that is around us. We must remember to be joyful with a full heart to our Lord and spread God’s love. Even when things are prefect, even when we meet difficult moments, we are called to spread God’s love and to stay in love with God.
3 days Until Christmas:
Isaiah 9: 2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness — on them light has shined.
I am always stumbling in the dark: sometimes it is simply in trying to get to the bathroom, sometimes I am trying to avoid waking other’s up, sometimes I just can’t find the light. Whatever the reason, I know better. Usually these don’t end well, I stub my toe; I trip; I wake people up anyway; the list could continue. Living with the light of Christ brings something to our lives; something that can’t be explained easily. Something that without we feel lost, as if we are stumbling in the dark. There is however a difference in having the light of a candle to holding a spot light in your path. Having a relationship with God isn’t always having a spot light; sometimes it is the flicker of a candle in the darkest of places. As our relationship grows with God, so too does our light. Pray today for more knowledge, for more hope, for more joy, more peace, more love but most of all for a greater light!
2 days Until Christmas:
Isaiah 9: 6 For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Tomorrow we celebrate the Eve of Jesus’ birth. Most churches will light the candle of light – or the Jesus’ candle – and celebrate the songs that illumine the birth story. My favorite part of Christ’s birth story, is however, the names given to our Savior. Jesus is not simple Jesus; nor is he simple Christ; nor is he simply non as “son of Joseph.” In fact Jesus has so many names given to him that it is hard to list them all. That is because it is hard to put one name to Jesus for he is grandeur than a name; grandeur than a language. He truly is God with us – God walking amongst us and God in our presence. POWERFUL. With all the names attributed to Christ this also offers us a realization that there is not just one way to come to Christ or one right way to believe, for each of us our relationship with God is unique and special. What is your favorite title for Jesus? Think about that this day and try to understand why. How does your favorite name reflect your own relationship with the Divine?
Luke 2: 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord
To some lonely shepherds tending a field, doing their job, an angel proclaimed the news that not only changed their night but most probably their life. On Christmas Eve we celebrate this amazing news and what it means not only for us but the world. We know the end of the story, we know the true gift that came to us as baby Jesus. Let us celebrate that today. Celebrate the best present we can get on Christmas morning – not one found in the tree or wrapped all pretty – the infant Christ. For through this humble beginning God with us humbly walked amongst us to celebrate with us, to understand us and most of all to save us! It was not the most important, but ordinary people that shared in this humble birth. As ordinary people we can be called to witness extraordinary things.