This Advent devotion may stand alone, but it is also meant to accompany a podcast: For the Love of Christmas, episode one. To listen, please follow this link: http://greenwoodcc.libsyn.com/advent-podcast-week-1
I offer you these Thoughts for Grace. I hope they help you receive JOY of Christmas more deeply into your heart. Please take a few moments in a quiet place with your Bible, a cup of coffee or tea, and a journal or notepad; ask the Lord to be with you and move at a gentle pace through what follows:
READ: Isaiah happily declared: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned . . . For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,” (Isaiah 9:2, 6). Read these verses slowly several times. What do you notice about how it makes you feel? What thoughts come to mind as you read them? Tell God about these things.
CONSIDER: Where do you experience darkness: When you think about the future? In the rancor in our culture? In your concern for a family member? In a painful relationship? In a frightening diagnosis?
PRAY: Take several moments to tell the Lord about this darkness and how you feel or think about it. Ask Him to be your ‘great light’ and your ‘dawn.’ Ask Him for the grace to hope that no matter how dark it seems, morning light is coming, always coming.
PRAY: Proverbs says, “Light of the eyes rejoices the heart,” Proverbs 15:30. Make the blind man’s cry your prayer, “Lord, I want to see,” Luke 18:41. Ask the Lord for eyes to see the goodness and beauty of God in your life and in your world, for eyes that can take in light to “rejoice your heart.”
CONSIDER: Think for a moment. Where can you see Him? In creation? In your family? In His word? In your friends?
THANK: Take several moments to thank and bless Him for these glimpses of Him. Thank Him for every good you can call to mind. Ask Him for grace to see more and more.
A DAILY PRAYER FOR THIS WEEK:
Jesus, thank you for coming to be the light of the world to rejoice our hearts. Please fill my eyes with your light and my heart with your JOY.