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12.10 Advent Devotional

O Come, All Ye Faithful

Sing, choirs of angels;
sing in exultation;
sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God, all
glory in the highest!
O come, let us adore him;
O come, let us adore him;
O come, let us adore him,
Christ, the Lord!

Scripture - Isaiah 9:2-7

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.
3 You have multiplied the nation,
    you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you
    as with joy at the harvest,
    as people exult when dividing plunder.
4 For the yoke of their burden,
    and the bar across their shoulders,
    the rod of their oppressor,
    you have broken as on the day of Midian.
5 For all the boots of the tramping warriors
    and all the garments rolled in blood
    shall be burned as fuel for the fire.
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.
7 His authority shall grow continually,
    and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
    He will establish and uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
    from this time onward and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Devotion - The People Have Seen a Great Light

Sometimes I feel like the people of Israel in Isaiah’s time: “people walking in darkness.” I yearn to be with my children and grandchildren in this time of social distance. I miss being with friends at church and having a meal with my circle after our meeting. It’s been a dark time. However, in Isaiah the poet writes, “The people have seen a great light.” Their nation is still there, and there is joy and hope of a great ruler to come. God will not forsake them or us.

King David wrote, “The Lord is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear?” Psalm 27:1. In the New Testament John describes Jesus as “the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4-5. Then in Matthew 4:16 Jesus tells his disciples, “You are the light of the world. In 5:14, he says, “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

You may recognize verses 6 and 7 in this passage from Isaiah which Handel used in his Messiah to refer to the coming of God in human form as the Christ Child. Thanks be to God that Jesus came to us in our darkness to light our way to salvation.

 

Prayer: God of Light, help us to follow you when the dark seems to overwhelm us. You only are our hope in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Susan Grigg

Can You Hear the Christmas Bells, performed by Don Slater, composed by Joel Raney

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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.