Daily Devotion - December 4, 2020 - Aspects of Preparation

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion – December 4, 2020
Reading:
Isaiah 62
Weekly Theme: Preparing the Way
Today: Aspects of Preparation

As we approach Christmas, the celebration of Jesus’ birth, we prepare our homes in different ways. For me, I need to start with a good straightening and cleaning of the room where the tree will be and then get down the tree and decorate the house in a simple way. Notice that I clean the room first, preparing the place where the tree will be and where my family has traditionally gathered each Christmas morning to begin with a reading of Luke 2, followed by a prayer thanking God for sending Jesus to us to show us how to live. Then we exchange gifts. My preparation for this day typically begins the first week of Advent. But for what (or whom) have I prepared ? The celebration of Jesus’ birth? What about the other aspects of Advent? Are we also considering and pondering and preparing our hearts for the second coming of Jesus Christ?

The truth is that we should always be preparing and ready to welcome Christ and the Holy Spirit into our lives, every day and preparing our hearts and minds on the spiritual reality that Christ is coming again. The prophet in the reading from Isaiah today is gives us three things to consider about preparing our hearts as Christians who are called “Holy, Redeemed, Cared For, and Not Deserted” (v. 12). First, we must pray constantly and “remind the Lord” of the promises that he will provide for us and protect us from our enemies who have eaten and drunk the fruits of our labor God has promised to ensure those who labor for their provision will also be able to reap the fruits of their labor. The prophet then tells the people of Israel (and us today) to prepare the way for “the people” by passing through the gates, building up the highway, clearing away the stones and raising up the banner of Christ (v.10). For me this metaphor means that we need to leave our sanctuaries each week, making sure that we have prepared a clear pathway for Christ to enter into the lives of all people, to remove any obstacles for others to come to know him and to make others aware of the hope we have in Christ by praising God. The third tip the prophet gives us is to proclaim that the Savior comes. He has come, comes this very day, and is coming continuously into our lives every day. He also is coming again to gather his people who are being made complete, holy, redeemed and therefore, will no longer have feelings of desertion. God delights and rejoices in those who receive God’s love (v. 4)!

God has been with us since the day we received God’s gift of grace through Christ. God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is with us this very moment. Christ is coming again. Because of these key aspects of our faith as Christians, we need to be constantly praying, preparing the way for all people to come to know Jesus and proclaiming all that Jesus has done and is doing in our lives. During this season of Advent, please join me as we focus together on preparing the way daily for Christ to enter into our lives (moment by moment), our homes, our places of learning and working, and our circles of friends, as we identify areas where we may need to reconcile with Christ, and as we invite and welcome others who may not know Christ to join us in our faith journey.

Dear God, thank you for giving us hope and faith that you are not far from us, but are always present. Help us to make straight the path for you to come dwell within us and invite others to come to know you and your mighty acts of grace poured out through your Son, Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen.

 
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