The First 15

Wednesday December 9, 2020

by First Methodist Mansfield

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

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no guest room available for them.


 Luke 2:4-7


The story of Jesus’ birth appears in two of the four Gospels, Matthew, and Luke. And they are both written without a lot of fanfare. There is some writing about the backstory of Mary, Joseph, etc., but both describe the birth of Jesus pretty simply and straightforward. This is Immanuel, God in the flesh, arriving not in a blaze of glory, but in a tiny bundle of vulnerability and need. This baby was dependent on those around him just to stay alive. 

It says something about God, doesn’t it? God was willing to embrace vulnerability in a way that most of us are not. This reminds me that we worship a God who does not rule from above, but rules with. It reminds me that we get to participate in God’s work, and in fact, sometimes God depends on us to do our part. 

What does this image of God invoke in you? What does God need you to do? 

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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