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12.1 Advent Devotional

People Look East

People, look east. The time is near
of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able;
trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the Guest, is on the way.

Scripture - Luke 1:26-38

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.”[a] 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”[b] 35 The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born[c] will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Devotion - Jesus' Birth Foretold to Mary

‘The die is cast, the choice is made, the child is on the way, and you will be his mother.’  So announces the angel, Gabriel, who gives Mary the news her life is going to change in ways she cannot even imagine.  And what’s more, it appears there is no saying ‘no’ to being in this event.  Although she does raise a couple of questions for purposes of clarification, in the end, she says, ’Let it be with me according to your word.’  

 

This pandemic event we have been living through has been a new normal for all of us – a time that had no ‘Decline’ or ‘Unsubscribe’ box we could check.  And worse, there was no angel to give us a heads-up on what was coming, because our new reality didn’t originate from God.  But still in this season of Advent we can wait with hope and a belief that better times lie ahead when we remember that Gabriel, in upending Mary’s life, also reminded her ‘The Lord is with you’ and ‘Do not be afraid’.  For many weeks this past summer Hudson Memorial displayed a hope-filled sign in front of the church that trumpeted: “You Are Not Alone.”  How true and comforting those words are.  We are not alone because the Lord is with us all the time.  Do not be afraid to wait for the coming of the Christ Child with great joy – even this year.  Come, Lord Jesus, Come.


Nancy Howard

Advent Hymn performed by Trish Richardson and composed by Christy Nockels

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Many of us find that an intentional practice is important as part of our Advent reflections and you may want to consider this one. The Hunger Action Team suggests you set aside one food item or a small amount of money each day to stock the Food Pantry at North Raleigh Ministries. Click here for more information.