The First 15

Thursday December 10, 2020

by Julian Hobdy

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

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn
Isaiah 61:1-2


I was sitting on a pew next to friends with whom I’d formed a praise dance group. While we waited to minister, I heard a faint thud beside me. To my left, Josh leans in my direction and whispers, “Say, Bruh, that’s you.” I look down to an open Bible and read, “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me.” I’d been wrestling with a sense of calling but terrified by the idea. At that moment, however, I was free. I felt free to become what God was calling me to be, and I remembered where God’s Spirit is, there is liberty and freedom.

Advent reminds us that Christ’s arrival is freedom breaking into hopelessness and brokenness. We anticipate what God will do in, through, and around us. We are reminded to live with hope and joy because Christ comes to set us free—free, indeed.

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

Sign up to receive an email notification whenever a new devotional is posted to The First 15.