Thursday December 3, 2020
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.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Admiral James Stockdale was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for seven-and-a-half years. When asked how he survived, he said, “You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.” He’s describing hope.
Can you imagine the conditions into which Jesus was born? He was born a fugitive, and his community was under occupation by a foreign power. He was born into hopelessness; yet, his arrival was the very entrance of hope into time.
Hope is more than optimism or wishing for change. Hope is the absolute assurance, and therefore, an expectation of future good. It transforms us into the present without having to transform our present circumstances.
If Christ is your hope, what does that mean for you today?
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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