The First 15

Saturday December 5, 2020

by Mike Ramsdell

Opening Prayer

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.

Scripture Reading

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.  I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God prepared as a bride adorned for her husband, and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, LOOK! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them.  They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away….behold all things have become new.
 Revelation 21:1-4


I remember as a child waiting, anticipating, hoping for Christmas morning. It was almost impossible to sleep the night before. No matter what the previous few weeks had been about it was now consumed by HOPE, the hope of Christmas. What will be in all the boxes that are already under the tree with my name on them? What amazing gifts will Santa have left under the tree? How much fun will I have on Christmas day playing with my new toys?

Advent is about hope, waiting, and anticipating what is to be, the promise of God that a Savior will come. We call this birth of Hope, Christmas. The Christian experience is about hope, waiting, and anticipating what is to come. The promise of God of eternal life that consumes fear, worry, pain, grief, loss, the hurt of life. In the promise of God, hopelessness is consumed by hope. This fundamental Christian truth is that it’s about eternal life, the life that is promised in the Bible. “We will be His people, and God Himself will be with us and be our God.  He will wipe away every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.”

“Behold all things become new”. Seasons like this Covid-19 one reminds us we are not there yet. But we will be. It’s God’s promise at Christmas.

Closing Prayer

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.

The First 15

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