Posted by: lolpres | January 5, 2017

LHM Daily Devotion – January 5, 2017 “The Dark Side of Christmas”

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Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

“The Dark Side of Christmas”
January 5, 2017
(Simeon said) “And a sword will pierce through your own soul also …” (Luke 2:35).
Read Luke 2:34-35.

If you have lost a loved one in death, then you know the pain the following Christmas when you feel that person’s absence so keenly. But what if you had known the year before that would be the last Christmas you would spend with them?

After blessing God, Simeon turns to Mary and says something strange. She will see the nation of Israel reject its Messiah and speak against the One God has sent to them. This is something Mary has never heard before, and probably never imagined would happen.

The angels only spoke of God’s gift of salvation to all people, of His love for the whole world in sending His Son. But Simeon warns that when He is grown and begins His ministry, there will be Jews who reject the salvation He came to bring.

But Simeon tells her it will get worse. She will feel as if a great broadsword is piercing her own soul. This is the connection between our Advent devotions coming to a close and our Lenten devotions beginning March 1. Mary, the virgin mother who laid her Child in the manger, will watch that same Son get nailed to a cross.

In all the Christmas memories Mary stored in her heart, this may be the first cloud that appeared over her thoughts. She will not only remember the moment when Simeon prophesied it, but she will stand beneath the cross of her beloved Son Jesus Christ. But the cloud will quickly pass three days after His death, when her mighty Son rises to life again — victorious through all eternity.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You loved us so much You sent Your Son to die in our place on the cross. Thank You for saving us through faith in Him. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Today’s Bible in a Year Reading: Genesis 13-15; Matthew 5:1-26

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