Advent Devotion for December 15
In lighting the candle, the candle lighter says: “He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”
SCRIPTURE: 2 Samuel 7: 14a
14 I will be his father, and he will be my son.
SCRIPTURE: Luke 1:29-33
29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”
SCRIPTURE: Romans 1:2-4
2 God promised this Good News long ago through his prophets in the holy Scriptures. 3 The Good News is about his Son. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, 4 and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord.
SOME THOUGHTS: We live in a world where many of the people we will encounter today regard Jesus as a person who may or may not have lived a long time ago. Those that give ascent to a historical Jesus, do so with the idea that he was a good or even great moral teacher, not much more. Most people, however, give little or no thought concerning Jesus at all. Put simply, they are not that interested. Life is busy enough to get bogged down in such concerns about a dead person who lived a couple of thousand years ago. The question of his divinity never even surfaces. “Too much religious fantasy is involved,” they say. Into this world come the Scriptures speaking specifically and directly to all of these issues. We are talking actual history with real people. In 2 Samuel, Nathan is relaying to King David, the vision given to him by God. Nathan is referring to the covenant God made with David (which we have previously mentioned), and stating both in the case of Solomon’s rule, and also in the case of the eternal royal descendant of David (the Messiah) that God would be his Father. God the Father will guide King Solomon and he will guide his Son when he appears on earth. This truth is further confirmed when the angel, Gabriel, visits Mary to tell her that she will be the earthly mother of the “Son of the Most High.” Gabriel is very specific in stating that God will give his Son the throne of his ancestor, David. It will be an everlasting Kingdom. In Romans, Paul affirms the prophetic Old Testament passage, tying it to historical fact and to the Son of God’s earthly life, death, and resurrection. What does this all mean? There is no ambiguity as to who this newborn baby is. He is the divine, eternal, and redeeming Son of God come to earth in human flesh. His Father is God Most High. Look for an opportunity today to pass along this Good News. If someone has doubts, help them find their way. It’s in the Book.
Two beautiful renderings of the Annunciation in Luke 1.
- “The Angel Gabriel” Claire College Choir and Orchestra, Cambridge, England (YouTube)
- “The Angel Gabriel” by All Angels (YouTube)
My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
Your mercy, Lord, is on all that fear you throughout all generations.
You show strength with your holy arm.
You scatter the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
You put down the mighty from their seat
and exalt the humble and meek.
You fill those that are hungry for you with good things.
And the rich and full of themselves you send away in their emptiness
in your mercy you help your servant Israel
as you promised to our forefathers Abraham, and his seed forever.
— adapted from the Magnificat of Luke 1:46-55, Dan Sharp