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Advent Devotions 2018


Advent Devotion December 15

12/15/2018
THE WONDER OF CHRISTMAS When the time came for Elizabeth to have her child, she gave birth to a boy. Her neighbors and relatives celebrated with her because they had heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy. On the eighth day, it came time to circumcise the child. They wanted to name him Zechariah because that was his father’s name. But his mother replied, “No, his name will be John.” They said to her, “None of your relatives have that name.” Then they began gesturing to his father to see ...

Advent Devotion December 14

12/14/2018
EARWORMS, HEARTSONGS AND FAITH “Sing to the Lord, who has done glorious things; proclaim this throughout all the earth.”  - Isaiah 12:5 There is almost always a song or tune running through my mind. I used to think that this was part of what happens to musicians. After all, music happens. I’ve learned that even non-musicians can suffer from “ear worms” — those tunes that come, unbidden, into our minds and will not leave gladly. Sometimes these tunes really are earworms, such as commercial ...

Advent Devotion December 13

12/13/2018
ON THAT DAY On that day you will say, “Praise the Lord! He was angry with me, but now he comforts me. See, God has come to save me! I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord is my strength and song; he is my salvation. Oh, the joy of drinking deeply from the Fountain of Salvation!” In that wonderful day you will say, “Thank the Lord! Praise his name! Tell the world about his wondrous love. How mighty he is!”  — Isaiah 12:1-4 (TLB) According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, 'judgment' can ...

Advent Devotion December 12

12/12/2018
UNMET EXPECTATIONS John’s disciples informed him about all these things. John called two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord. They were to ask him, “Are you the one who is coming, or should we look for someone else?” When they reached Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you. He asks, ‘Are you the one who is coming, or should we look for someone else?’” Right then, Jesus healed many of their diseases, illnesses, and evil spirits, and he gave sight to a number of blind people. ...

Advent Devotion December 11

12/11/2018
THE LAND OF THE SUN "On that day, there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear loyalty to the Lord of heavenly forces. One of them will be called 'the city of the sun.'” — Isaiah 19:18 This past Summer my wife and I had an opportunity to visit Reykjavik, Iceland. Iceland has become a popular tourist destination, and for good reason! It’s beautiful and diverse with languages and cultures from all over the world represented. When we toured the glacier,...

Advent Devotion December 10

12/10/2018
SHARING GOD'S LOVE As we draw closer to Christmas one would think we would start to slow down and reflect on what Jesus’s birth really means to this broken and hurting world. The opposite is actually what happens – we add more and more to our schedule – shopping, programs, family gatherings, parties and the hustle and bustle of the season and often the real reason for the season almost gets lost in the wrappings and glitter.   As Christians we know that if it wasn’t for Easter there would be no ...

Advent Devotion December 9

12/9/2018
GETTING OUR HOUSE IN ORDER "Look, I am sending my messenger who will clear the path before me; suddenly the Lord whom you are seeking will come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you take delight is coming, says the Lord of heavenly forces. Who can endure the day of his coming? Who can withstand his appearance? He is like the refiner’s fire or the cleaner’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver. He will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. ...

Advent Devotion December 8

12/8/2018
LIGHT “Because of our God’s deep compassion,     the dawn from heaven will break upon us, to give light to those who are sitting in darkness     and in the shadow of death,         to guide us on the path of peace.” — Luke 1:78-79 CEB The above passage comes at the conclusion of Zechariah’s prophecy at the circumcision and naming of his son, John. He is filled with the Holy Spirit and able to speak again after nine months of silence. After a long night of darkness, the dawn is about to break.  ...

Advent Devotion December 7

12/7/2018
CHRISTMAS PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE Luke 1:68-79; Malachi 3:13-18; Philippians 1:18b-2 My earliest memories of Christmas are visions of my family, friends, and Christmas gatherings. The Christmas Eve program at church – candlelight, favorite hymns, and the little brown paper sack filled with peanuts in the shell and candy canes. I can see – and smell – my mom baking Christmas cookies, decorating the house, and carefully hanging the treasured decorations on the tree that my dad had cut at the ...

Advent Devotion December 6

12/6/2018
BELIEVING IN THE LORD Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,     because he has come to his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us     in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies     and from the hand of all who hate us— to show mercy to our ancestors     and to remember his holy covenant,     the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,     and to enable ...

Advent Devotion December 5

12/5/2018
SIGNS "As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom; and now something greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the ...

Advent Devotion December 4

12/4/2018
WHO AM I? "Then King David went and sat in the Lord’s presence. He asked: Who am I, Lord God, and of what significance is my family that you have brought me this far?" — 2 Samuel 7:18 Have you ever hit a point in your life where you’ve said, “I don’t deserve this.”? I’ve had this happen many times. Whether it’s help from my family, a job offer, praise from my boss, or a kind act from a stranger, I have thought many times that I am not deserving because I’m not important. I’m not anybody. Earlier...

Advent Devotion December 3

12/3/2018
DAWN & SUNRISE Don’t let it escape your notice, dear friends, that with the Lord a single day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a single day. The Lord isn’t slow to keep his promise, as some think of slowness, but he is patient toward you, not wanting anyone to perish but all to change their hearts and lives. —2 Peter 3:8-9 (CEB) In his book, Christmas, Karl Barth wrote this reflection, “Unfulfilled and fulfilled promise are related to each other, as are dawn and sunrise. ...

Advent Devotion December 2

12/2/2018
COME ALIVE...ALL OVER AGAIN! “Take care that your hearts aren’t dulled by…the anxieties of day-to-day life” Luke 21:34, CEB Worrywart. “Somebody who worries entirely too much” (Urban Dictionary). “A person who worries excessively especially about unimportant matters” (Wiktionary).  Worrywart. Something not to be!  I don’t know about you, but when I’m worrying about things what’s going on, the moment blows right on by, unnoticed. Stuff I have no control over looms large, blocking the view of ...