LHM Advent Devotion – December 11, 2014 “Ornaments”

 

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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). 

“Ornaments”
December 11, 2014

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Read Romans 15:8-13.
Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles may glorify God for His mercy … Romans 15:8B-9A

I have to admit, once the lights were on the tree, I was satisfied. I didn’t really care whether any ornaments went on or not. But that wasn’t the case with Mom. I never could understand why she took each ornament in hand, carefully inspected it, and smiled as she chose its precise place on the tree. To me she was wasting time — just get them up there so we can put the icicles on!

Now that I have a few years behind me, I understand Mom a whole lot more. Now I find myself looking carefully at our ornament collection. “This was the ornament we got when we were first dating!” “We were newlyweds when we bought this.” “This was Jacob’s first Christmas!” “This was our first house.” And, like Mom, a smile spreads across my face as I recite each ornament’s history.

The promises God made about Jesus in the Old Testament are like those ornaments. Each one has a beauty and significance that grows deeper every year. Consider one from Isaiah: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel (which means ‘God with us’)” (Isaiah 7:14b). Or Micah’s famous, “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for Me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days” (Micah 5:2). My favorite is another from Isaiah, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His Name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

Each prophecy is like a dearly loved ornament. We get it out, examine it carefully, place it into the timeline of Christ’s life, and rejoice in what it shows us about our Savior.

* He went around serving people through His words and mighty deeds.
* He took our sin and guilt upon Himself and suffered and died in our place.
* He perfectly satisfied God’s wrath for our sins.
* He rose in glory on the third day.
* He ascended into heaven and took His place at the Father’s right hand.
* On the Last Day He will return to judge both the living and the dead.

Like precious ornaments they hang on the tree of our faith and strengthen our confidence and trust in Christ Jesus who is our Savior and our Guide through this life.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for fulfilling all the promises given to Your Old Testament people, our ancient brothers and sisters in the faith. Give Your children great joy, hope, and confidence in Your life so that we may glorify Your Name and share Your salvation with all people. Amen

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