Daily Advent Devotion Tuesday, December 24 - Christmas Eve

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 – Psalm 136; Isaiah 60:1-6; Galatians 3:23-4:7 and Matthew 1:18-25

As we begin even now to prepare for our Christmas Eve/Christmas Day celebrations, may these texts help us and guide us.

Psalm 136 – O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

who alone does great wonders,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
….

26 O give thanks to the God of heaven,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

Friends, God’s steadfast love does endure forever and ever and ever. This was best expressed in the sending of His Son, born of Mary born to be savior and Lord. God did great wonders through Mary, through Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection. God still does great wonders through the gift of His Spirit with us and in us. God’s steadfast love endures forever. Thanks be to God.

Galatians 3:23-4:7 – when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. 6And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

As Jesus taught us so we say; “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name ….. “ Friends, through Jesus and with Jesus we have been made children of God.  Through Christ we have been redeemed, our sins forgiven and made full heirs of God’s promises.

Give thanks for Jesus; fully man/fully God born of woman, born to save us from our very selves.

We turn now from our readings from Luke, to the account of Jesus’ birth as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. During the twelve days of Christmas I’m going to wander a little from the daily lectionary readings and have us take a look at readings from Luke, Matthew and John.

Matthew 1:18-25 – 18Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. 20But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
           23“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,”
which means, “God is with us.” 24When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife,25but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.

Jesus – God saves; Emmanuel – God with us; through this one born unto Mary and Joseph God would work the miracle of salvation once and for all time. This is the gift we celebrate this day, this night and all the days of Christmas. During all your celebrations this Christmas Eve and Christmas day, take time to remember to give thanks for the real and eternal gift of Christmas

Isaiah 60:1-6 – 1Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.

At the end of our Christmas Eve services we’ll all light a candle reminding us as to how God’s light shined upon the world when Jesus was born and how God’s light shines through each of us this day and forever more.

Arise, let us let Christ’s light shine upon us and through us this day, this night and forevermore.

 O give thanks to the God of heaven,
for his steadfast love
and light endures forever. Amen.

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