Weekly Devotional – Week of Monday, December 21, 2020
Opening Prayer (from the Collects, BCP 2019)
Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and the comfort of your Holy Word we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Bible Reading – John 14:1-7
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” (ESV)
Devotional – The Coming Advent
As we move into the last week of Advent, we turn our attention to the Second Advent of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Today we stand on the threshold of the great celebration of Christmas and our Lord’s first Advent into this world. Christmas is coming in just a few days. We will celebrate the birth of our King, the Son of God, Jesus Christ. In many ways the 1st Advent helps inform and deepen the meaning of Jesus’ 2nd Coming, which He has promised will come one day soon.
In John 14 Jesus gives us a tremendous and hopeful promise. He promised us that he will come again and when he does, he will take us to be with Him in His Father’s House. This passage in one of the primary Gospel texts that we proclaim at funerals and memorial services and for good reason. What greater hope is there for a follower of Christ to hear this promise proclaimed in the wake of losing a loved one. What comfort there is for those of us who have put our faith in Christ to know that one day soon our Savior will come back to get us. It is like the quote from the English Patient, “I promise, I’ll come back for you. I promise, I’ll never leave you.” That is the promise we have in Jesus. We are never forgotten and we are never alone.
Consider for a moment the 1st Advent and how it relates to the 2nd Advent. Jesus gave up everything to come into the world. Jesus in great humility gave us His place of glory at the right hand of His Father to be born in a humble stable. Jesus gave up His great position so that through His death and resurrection we might be welcomed into His Father’s house. Without the 1st Advent there is no hope in His 2nd Advent.
Friends in this last Sunday of Advent rejoice in the promise that Jesus will return to take us into His glory. One day soon the suffering and the pain of this world will come to an end and we will be with Him forever. Allow the promise of the 2nd Coming to prepare our hearts for the glorious celebration that awaits us on Christmas so that we might praise God along with the heavenly host saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.”
Closing Prayer (from Collects, BCP 2019)
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and as we are sorely hindered by our sins from running the race that is set before us, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and forever. Amen