Daily Devotion Friday, December 14

Friday, December 14, 2012 – Psalm 102; Isaiah 7:10-25; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5 and Luke 22:14-30

Our readings today provide an interesting combination of themes. In Isaiah we hear words  which point (at least for us who know Christ) towards Jesus’ birth and then in Luke we hear words that point to his death; his body being broken and his blood being shed for us. This is a very interesting and thought provoking combination – Jesus’ birth and his death.

Psalm 102 – 12  But you, O LORD, are enthroned forever;
your name endures to all generations.
13  You will rise up and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to favor it;
the appointed time has come.

Isaiah 7:10-25 – “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? 14Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.”

Luke 22:14-30 – 17Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

Along with my devotions on the daily lectionary readings, I’m doing a daily devotion with two friends of mine. We are using a book which has a collection of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s writings. I want to share a portion of the reading for today which is for the sixth day of week two of Advent.

No priest, no theologian stood at the manger of Bethlehem. And yet all Christian theology has its origin in the wonder of all wonders: that God became human. Holy theology arises from knees bent before the mystery of the divine child in the stable. Without the holy night, there is no theology. “God is revealed in flesh,” the God-human Jesus Christ — that is the holy mystery that theology came into being to protect and preserve. ……. .If Christmas time cannot ignite within us again something like a love for holy theology, so that we—captured and compelled by the wonder of the manger of the son of God—must reverently reflect on the mysteries of God, then it must be that the glow of the divine mysteries has also been extinguished in our heart and has died out.

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich (2011-03-21). God Is In the Manger (Kindle Locations 400-410). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.

My daily devotions keep me rooted in the wonder and mystery of God, which comes to us through promises in the Old Testament, comes to life in the manger of Bethlehem and takes on eternal life at the cross where Jesus died for all of us. My hope is that this holy mystery lives and abides in all of us during this season of Advent, as we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

Hear the mystery of our faith; Christ was born, Christ lived, Christ called people to follow him, Christ healed the sick and forgave sinners, Christ died, Christ rose from the dead, Christ will come again. Thanks be to God. Amen.

16Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, 17comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word. – 2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5

Today and throughout the rest of Advent, through Christmas and on into the New Year may we all strive to abide in the mystery of our faith; that God so loved us that he sent his Son to die for all our sins, so that we could discover real life. Thanks be to God for the mystery of His love.

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