Begin this new day by praying this prayer out loud. As you are able, consider kneeling as a physical expression of your commitment to Jesus as Lord of your life and the one you desire to lead you this day. Alternatively, you might consider placing a hand over your heart as you pray this prayer.
We come to you with great anticipation and preparation. Open our minds, open our hearts, open ourselves to what you want us to hear and experience today as we read your word.
The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way”—
“a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”
And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Mark 1: 1-8
As we prepare for Christmas, how are we preparing to share the Good News with others? In this disrupted world of Covid 19, all that is considered usual and normal has been turned upside down. How are we planning new ways of celebrating and sharing the Good News? How can we prepare a way for Christ to come into this chaos and into the lives of those longing for certainty in an uncertain world?
Plans certainly are not “as usual” in the life of the church. Christmas will be different in 2020. Yet, we are still celebrating and still preparing the way of Christ to enter into the hearts of all. He came into a world of chaos and a time of oppression and fear. A pandemic cannot still the message! Christ is here and Christ will come again!
In what new way are you preparing to celebrate the unchanging Gospel of Christmas this year?
When you are finished with your time of reflection, close out this time with this prayer.
Lord, Make advent real in our hearts.
Never have we needed Your joy and peace more than now.
Thank You for the gift of Jesus, our Immanuel, the Word made flesh.
Lord, we need Your peace and joy. We know that peace on earth can only come when hearts find peace with You. You are still our Joy. You are still our Peace. And we still celebrate You as Lord—this Christmas and always.
Sign up to receive an email notification whenever a new devotional is posted to The First 15.