LHM Advent Devotion – December 10, 2014 “The Lights Tie it Together”

 

2014 Advent Devotions Header

Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Reverend Wayne Palmer

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin!  Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int’l LLL (LHM). 

“The Lights Tie it Together”
December 10, 2014

2014 Advent Devotions cover

Read Romans 15:4-7.
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another … that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5A, 6

Now the tree is on its stand in the living room. It’s time to string the lights. I remember the first time I put on the lights while trying to dodge those sharp needles. I learned quickly how difficult it is to evenly space the lights over the tree. At first I had too many on the top, then I had too many on the bottom. But when I finally got them pretty well balanced it was magical to me.

There is something very special about a well-lit Christmas tree. None of the lights is very bright by itself, but when they all shine together in harmony they create a warm, soft, beautiful glow.

In Friday’s reading, St. Paul seeks this same harmony, this same beautiful light to shine out from the family of believers. But this peace and unity cannot come from sinful creatures darkened by their own degenerate natures. It must come from the Light of the world.

That peace did not come cheap for Jesus. It cost Him His life, bitter sufferings, and death as He took our place under God’s wrath and paid the full price for our sin. But when we know the peace of God’s forgiveness, we can’t help but want to spread that same forgiveness to our brothers and sisters in faith. In that way God’s peace spreads throughout the Church and brings Him glory. Wouldn’t it be nice in our church families to share this Christmas holiday in true peace, joy, and harmony?

As Paul’s prayer to the Romans shows by ourselves we can’t do that. It is a gift that must be granted to us by God. It comes to us through the Gospel — the Good News of God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ. It is given us in our Baptism and strengthened by Holy Communion. It is only in gathering together before Jesus as a family of God, receiving God’s Word and Sacraments, that we can live in harmony as we raise our voices to praise and glorify our God.

If your church is holding midweek Advent services tonight, then this is a good night to start. Come to Jesus Christ. Let Him change your heart and bring you into harmony with your brothers and sisters in Christ as He unites us all in our journey toward our heavenly home.

THE PRAYER: Lord God, unite our hearts in Christ Jesus our Savior, that we may have genuine love for our Christian brothers and sisters. Work through us to show the world Your love and glory that many may come to faith in Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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