This season, I wanted to begin a devotional for Advent. Unfortunately, with school work and internship work, I began it late. But, better late than never!!! Here is the portion from November 29th to December 9th. After this, each day until December 25th I will be posting a devotional.
This Advent Devotional was created by my current seminary school Luther Seminary in St Paul, MN. It is called "O Lord, How Shall I Meet You?" If it sounds familiar to you, it is because it comes form ELW 241 Hymn "O Lord, How Shall I Meet You?" (see picture at bottom of blog)
For your convenience, I am putting today's devotional first.
Wednesday, December 9
1 Thessalonians 5:16–24
Concluding his letter to the Christian community at Thessalonica, Paul exhorts
his readers collectively as a body, not as individuals. He uses plural verbs and
pronouns, which is evident in Greek but not in English. Some instructions relate
to corporate worship, such as rejoicing, praying, giving thanks, and listening
to prophets. Other instructions have to do with behavior, such as honoring the
good and resisting evil. All of this is to anticipate “the coming of our Lord Jesus
The Advent season is one of anticipation, both for the celebration of the
coming of Christ as the Son of God and son of Mary and for his coming again
in his own good time. Faith looks to the future of God, who is faithful in life now
and in life to come. In the meantime, we gather to rejoice, pray, give thanks,
and listen to the Word of God—and we seek to be good to one another.
Bless, O Lord, our congregation that it may worship and serve in ways that are
pleasing to you. Amen.
Sunday, Nov 29
"O Lord, How Shall I Meet You?"
Advent is derived from the Latin word "advenio," which means "to come to, to arrive." Paul Gerhardt's great hymn assumes the Lord is coming. Our preparation does not cause him to come. that was true in Jesus' time, is true in our time, and will be true at the end of time. This hymn isn't about our preparation at all, but rather is about God's coming. God came incarnate in the past, God comes to us now in word and sacrament, and God will come again at the end of time. The only questions is "O Lord, how shall I meet you, how welcome you aright?" Gerhardt's hymn describes Christ's work - kindling a lamp within us, giving us a crown, embracing us in love, and guiding us safely home. Advent focuses not on our preparation, but on God's work for us, coming to us repeatedly to kindle, give, embrace, and guide.
O Lord, we thank you that you come, that you came today, and that you will come in the future. Help us to welcome you aright. Amen.
Monday, November 30
The writer knows a people who have experienced defeat and destruction. In
that situation, it is easy to question what kind of God we have and what that
God has in mind for us. It is to these people that Isaiah directs his message.
God’s people experience comfort, firm in the knowledge that their Lord is
coming. The ephemeral quality of our existence contrasts sharply with the
Word that stands forever. Isaiah assures us that God has not forgotten or
forsaken God’s people. The one who comes indeed comes with might and
comes in a way that changes the very landscape, does not come to destroy us
but rather to comfort us, feed us, and gather us to Godself. God’s coming is not
to be feared but to be welcomed. Truly, these are good tidings for all people!
We thank you that you have not forsaken us but rather come to comfort us. Help us to
tell the good tidings of your coming. Amen.
Tuesday, December 1
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
“Surely his salvation is at hand ...” summarizes the message of Advent. But
what is the real result—what is the content—of that salvation? Forgiveness,
full pardon, restoration, steadfast love, faithfulness, righteousness, peace, good
gifts, and God’s glory among us. All given by God. It is almost as if the psalmist
struggles to find adequate words to describe what the LORD God brings and
what happens when God comes. God speaks and, in God’s speaking, comes to
us. We are hearers of God’s promise and recipients of God’s gifts. Can we find
the words to describe them? And will we trust and live in their reality?