category: Advent

2023 Advent Devotion: Day 22

Sunday, December 24

2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16; Luke 1:26-38; Romans 16:25-27

During Advent our minds are oriented toward the past as we remember the birth of our Savior, and our minds are oriented toward the future as we eagerly anticipate His return. There is a rhythm of looking back and looking ahead in this season.

As we read the Bible in the present, we find that God’s people also had a historical rhythm to their lives.
They often looked back and looked ahead. Indeed, the story of the Bible itself has a distinct rhythm. In His story, we see God making promises and keeping promises. The promises within the Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel 7) are particularly significant to the Israelites, and they are significant to us this Christmas season. God promises David that his kingdom will stand forever and his dynasty will be permanent (2 Samuel 7:16). God’s people longed for the day when that descendant would appear. They had a hopeful expectation in the arrival of the Messiah, descended from King David’s family line, the Son of David. The Son born to Mary and Joseph fully and perfectly fulfilled the promise made to David.

As you read the lectionary texts for today, you will find that Davidic Covenant. You will also read the promise from the angel Gabriel to Mary that Jesus will “be given the throne of His father David” (Luke 1:32). Furthermore, you will see the wisdom of God weaving this grand story together throughout human history (Romans 16:27).

Within these Scripture selections you’ll find at least five rhythms that emerge:

  1. God is active.
  2. God is with us.
  3. God saves us.
  4. God keeps His promises.
  5. God gives us relief.

God has made a provision for our sins in the Son of David, the Son of God, Jesus. Jesus was sent to save us from our greatest enemies, sin and death. From the beginning, humanity has needed rescue, and God has faithfully stepped in to save us. In fact, He has stepped toward us perfectly in Jesus. He is the “root and descendant of David” (Revelation 22:16), and He provides the relief and salvation we so desperately need. As we sing the memorable hymns associated with this season, and as we collectively celebrate the birth of our Savior, perhaps we can commit another line to memory, one from James Montgomery’s hymn “Hail to the Lord’s Anointed”: “Hail to the Lord’s Anointed, great David’s greater Son!”

Josh Parrott
Vice President and University Chaplain for Christian Life and Service

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2023 Advent Devotion: Day 21

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2023 Advent Devotion: Day 23

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