Advent Devotion for December 25, Christmas Day
In lighting the candle, the candle lighter says: “Your God is coming!”
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 40:9-11
9 O Zion, messenger of good news,
shout from the mountaintops!
Shout it louder, O Jerusalem.
Shout, and do not be afraid.
Tell the towns of Judah,
“Your God is coming!”
10 Yes, the Sovereign Lord is coming in power.
He will rule with a powerful arm.
See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.
11 He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
He will carry the lambs in his arms,
holding them close to his heart.
He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.
SCRIPTURE: Luke 2:15-20
15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.
SOME THOUGHTS: Does it strike you as ironic that the humble shepherds in the field would be the first to hear the news of the arrival of the Good Shepherd? There is both power and tenderness in our God. Shepherds care for their sheep. Shepherds can have very tender hearts because of the defenselessness of their flock. As a farm boy who raised sheep, there is more here than meets the eye. Sheep follow the leader. Their main defense is stamping their feet! They are very stubborn animals and are not very bright. They have weak eyes though their hearing is exceptional! Horses, pigs, chickens, and dogs are all much smarter. Sheep definitely need someone to look after them. That is frequently why there are goats mixed in with sheep. Goats will defend and protect. David was a shepherd boy called from the field to be king. Shepherds were called from the field to see the arrival of the King.
Did you notice that the shepherds excitedly told everyone what had happened, but Mary didn’t. She frequently pondered all these events in her heart. She had just become the earthly mother of the incarnate Savior of the world! There would be lots to ponder, for her then, and for us today! Rejoice! The Savior is born!
MUSIC: “Joy to the World”
MUSIC: "Glory to God" from Messiah
- Sylvia McNair and Atlanta Symphony and Chorus (YouTube)
PRAYER: The Collect for Christmas Day
Almighty God, who hast given us thy only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure Virgin: Grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen. — from The Book of Common Prayer, 1928