Advent Daily Devotion

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Advent Daily Devotion Dec 16

December 16

Afraid of What's to Come? ~ By Rev. Dr. Raymond T. Moreland

But Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again.  The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still. - Exodus 14: 13-14

For the Hebrew children, there was no turning back.  Moses saw the people who had made the exodus out of Egypt trapped between the fear of Pharaoh's army of chariots and warriors and fear of crossing the Red Sea.  To put it bluntly, the people were caught between the devil and the deep Red Sea.  Even in the fears, the people complained to Moses.  "Was it for want of graves in Egypt that you brought us to die in the wilderness?  What have you done to us, taking us out of Egypt?"  Here they are trapped by the fear of living in slavery under Pharaoh and the uncertainty of what lies ahead across the sea.

Moses challenged the peoples' fear, "Do not be afraid, stand firm."  What do they have to lose but the uncertainty of fear's hold on their lives.  He called the people to start living with expectation and anticipation of what lies ahead.  Stand firm, see what God is up to, be silent and still and filled with hope.  Don't be afraid of what is on the other side of fear.  Moses called the people to cast out fear and wait upon God for the advent, the coming of God's hope on the other side of the sea.

They could look back to Egypt and see a future of servitude.  Or the people could, by faith, let go of fear, and live in the anticipation of what lies ahead.  Fear always blocks anticipation and expectation.  The people of God need to let go of the fear and hold to the promise of God to bring them through the sea to a new land and new life.

Advent calls us to let go of fear, releasing the grip of the past and crossing over the troubling seas we call face each day of our lives.  Letting go allows us to get ourselves prepared for what God is getting ready to do in our lives.  Isn't this the kind of Advent we seek to experience as we prepare our hearts to receive the rebirthing of Jesus in us once again.  Deliverance is coming, be brave, stand still, stand firm and cross through your troubled waters and seas of uncertainty with anticipation of the God's salvation in Jesus Christ.

Prayer:  O Gracious God, help me to stand firm against fear and all that seeks to overcome my life.  Give me the heart to look at the fixed star of hope in the Advent of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

Advent Daily Devotion Dec 14

December 14

Justice and Righteousness ~ By Paul Nelson

"...let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream." - Amos 5: 24

In this verse of scripture, the prophet Amos, a lowly herdsman through whom God chose to warn the Israelites that the day of judgment for their sins was coming, reveals God's ultimate desire for humankind:  to be in God's image just and righteous.  The time of Amos' prophesy, during the middle years of the 8th century B.C., was a period of extremes in material wealth and poverty, greed and corruption, injustice, idolatry, and immorality throughout the northern kingdom of Israel.  Through Amos, God pleaded with His people to turn away from their sinful attitudes and behaviors and devote their lives to righteous living with justice to all.

In that same manner, God speaks to us today!  Indeed, it is not difficult to draw a parallel between the world of Amos' day and that in which we live, a world thirsty for the waters of justice flowing from an unceasing stream of righteousness in God.  Unlike the ancient Israelites, however, we know of God's enduring grace and love through the gift of His Son Jesus, whose earthly ministry was a model of the justice God seeks through the righteousness of our lives.  Thus, contrary to the fear experienced by the Israelites anticipating God's day of judgment, as disciples of Jesus we experience the peace, hope, joy, and love of Advent as a period of preparing our hearts for the re-birth of Christ in our lives.

Prayer:  Almighty and gracious God, through your Holy Spirit, prepare us during this Advent season to receive the gift of your Son Jesus, such that our lives will become a reflection of your love and justice for all people.