category: Advent

Advent Devotion: Day 6

Friday, December 2

Isaiah 30: 19-26; Acts 13:16-25

Thanksgiving Day in America signifies the beginning of the holiday season. As we enjoy the celebration of dinner and fellowship, our conversations progress to discussions about Christmas Day, the anticipation of the gifts, and the joy the day brings. Many of us will explore the newspaper and surf the web for the many great Black Friday deals that will satisfy the expectations of children and family members. We immerse ourselves in the Christmas spirit, listening to the seasonal music and participating in the festivities associated with the season. As Christians, we often remind ourselves that Jesus is the reason for the season; however, the season’s focus on material gifts and secular celebrations often cause us to lose the perspective of what and who we celebrate. I love Christmas because it is the most wonderful time of the year. It is a time that we experience great joy and happiness. For some, however, it’s also a time that is not so great, for many have experienced the loss of significant people who cannot share in the joy of the season any longer. God knows his people’s pain and tears, and God promises to bless the hearts and lives of his people with comfort and joy. God’s promise to be with us and come to our rescue gives servants of God the expectation and anticipation essential in our preparation and praise.

As Christians in this Advent season, we should wait on the blessing of God with expectation and anticipation while preparing in worship. Isaiah 30:19-26 and Acts 13:16-25 give us a view of the expectation and anticipation of people challenged by their situation. Isaiah provides comfort to the people at a time when they demonstrated their disobedience in turning to Egypt and not God for protection. Their actions caused them great pain and despair; however, with God’s grace and mercy, he promised to comfort the people and be with them as he delivered them from their enemies. In Acts, Luke provides us with an historical perspective of Israel’s anticipation and of how God, time and time again, has come to the rescue of his people when they are in despair. Advent should be a season of expectation, knowing that God will show up and comfort his people regardless of what we have experienced during the year or the difficulties we may face. Let us observe this Advent as a season of preparation and celebration in worship and praise to the Lord God for his gift to the world. Do not let the process of spiritual preparation get lost in the Christmas experience and our expectations of the material gifts that bring us joy. We should reflect during this time on the Grace of God that has comforted us in the times of our greatest need. Let us praise God for the gift of his Son Jesus Christ and the promise of eternal life that his death and resurrection assured God’s people.

David C. Mitchell
School of Divinity Student

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