Advent Devotion for January 2
In lighting the candle, the candle lighter says: “I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.”
SCRIPTURE: Exodus 33:17-23
The Lord replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.”
Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.”
The Lord replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” The Lord continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.”
SCRIPTURE: Luke 1:68-73
68 “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has visited and redeemed his people.
69 He has sent us a mighty Savior
from the royal line of his servant David,
70 just as he promised
through his holy prophets long ago.
71 Now we will be saved from our enemies
and from all who hate us.
72 He has been merciful to our ancestors
by remembering his sacred covenant—
73 the covenant he swore with an oath
to our ancestor Abraham.
SOME THOUGHTS: Moses had a very unique relationship with God. His conversations with God were rather straightforward and quite personal. God even said so! Israel’s God was like no other; he was real and personally involved in the lives of his children. God agreed to go with his people. Moses response was rather bold. “Then show me your glorious presence!” What is happening here is that God is showing his character of mercy and compassion to Moses, the Israelites, and to all. God mercifully accommodates Moses’ bold request to see God’s glory by granting him a view from the backside. It is the only way Moses could have survived. God was in the gentle process of revealing himself to his people. The old priest, Zechariah, in his words of praise, refers back to both the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants made by God in being merciful to his people. In Moses, we have a model of transparency before God. You will also notice that God honored that quality in Moses. “I look favorably on you and I know you by name.” Do you think that quality about God has changed? Go to him in transparent faith today. He knows your name and he is for you. Take courage.
MUSIC: “Child in a Manger”
Kings College, Cambridge (YouTube)
PRAYER: You, Lord, through your works have revealed the everlasting structure of the world. You, Lord, created the earth. You are faithful throughout all generations, righteous in your judgments, marvelous in strength and majesty, wise in creating and prudent in establishing what exists, good in all that is observed and faithful to those who trust in you, merciful and compassionate; forgive us our sins and our injustices, our transgressions and our shortcomings.
Give harmony and peace to us and to all who dwell on the earth, just as you did to our fathers when they reverently "called upon you in faith and trust," that we may be saved, while we render obedience to your almighty and most excellent name, and give harmony and peace to our rulers and governors on earth. - Clement of Rome, c.96 AD