Advent Devotion for December 24
In lighting the candle, the candle lighter says: “For a child is born to us.”
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 9:6-7
6 For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His government and its peace
will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen!
SCRIPTURE: Luke 2:1-14
2 At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. 2 (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. 4 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. 5 He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child.
6 And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 7 She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.
9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
SOME THOUGHTS: What’s in a name? The Scriptures give us much insight to the person and character of God through the various names to which he is referred. All of the names are equally significant. Sometimes you and I have heard someone say, “I can’t believe in a god who would allow…” The person with that kind of thinking needs to keep reading regarding the God of the Bible. They are talking about a different god. All of the names are equally significant. For example: Wonderful Counselor affirms God’s wisdom and personal interaction with believers; Mighty God tells us of an all-powerful Deity; the Everlasting Father tells us that as our Father, his care never ends, he looks after his children, he is completely faithful; the Prince of Peace is the God who brings ultimate peace to all. We have a faithful, compassionate, powerful, personal caring Father…and that’s hardly scratching the surface. Having said that, we look at the humble beginning this night as this God arrives to planet Earth as a baby, hardly what we would expect! This Advent is over! The Redeemer of the world has arrived to the praise of angels. Have you noticed how inconspicuous this was—except for the angels singing to the shepherds? The rest of the world had no clue, except for the magi from the East who were paying attention. Many people tonight and tomorrow will be celebrating, but will we be paying attention to the significance of the biggest picture of what God is doing? We are getting closer and closer to the last Advent, and believe me, no one will miss that coming! Watch and wait.
MUSIC: “O Holy Night”
You have several choices! Listen to them all. They are very different settings.
- Mormon Tabernacle & King’s Singers (YouTube)
- Home Free (YouTube)
- Sam Robson (YouTube)
- Placido Domingo and Charlotte Church (YouTube)
- Jackie Evancho (YouTube)
PRAYER: Christmas Eve Collect
O God, who makest us glad with the yearly remembrance of the birth of thy only Son, Jesus Christ: Grant that as we joyfully receive him for our redeemer, so may we with sure confidence behold him, when he shall come to be our judge; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit one God world without end. Amen. — from the Book of Common Prayer, 1928