LHM Advent Devotion – December 12, 2014 “Out of Place”

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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). 

“Out of Place”
December 12, 2014

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Read Matthew 3:1-6.
John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Matthew 3:4

I grew up thinking our living room was the natural place for a Christmas tree. But after I had grown up it finally dawned on me — a tree is not supposed to be sitting right in the middle of your living room! It’s totally out of place there! Trees belong outside in the yard! In fact, in recent years we decorated one evergreen tree in our front yard with lights, ornaments, and bows. The tree belongs outside — where it can live and grow year round. Cutting a tree down and setting it up inside a house is an out of place location for a tree.

That phrase “out of place” fit John the Baptist perfectly. John wore different clothing from everyone else, and he ate very different food from everyone else, and he lived in a very different place than everyone else. Why? Because John was the prophet God sent to prepare the way for His Son. His message was repent! In other words, reverse the direction of your life because the Kingdom of God is at hand.

We too must recognize how often we are going the wrong way in life because of our sinful nature. We often see it pretty clearly in our broken family relationships, our strained friendships, and our divided congregations. Just like an evergreen tree that is cut down and then propped up in a living room and decorated, we are all dying.

John came to show us why we need a Savior. So John dressed differently, and he preached out in the wilderness. And if you wanted to hear what God had to say to you through John, you had to go out of place too. You had to join him in the wilderness. His location teaches us to leave our old way of thinking and our old way of life to meet and travel together with our humble King.

Just as John the Baptist left his home in the hill country of Judea to live in the wilderness, Jesus left His heavenly throne and lived among us. The glorious Son of God, Creator of all, became a human baby and lived out His earthly life among us in poverty and want. He was rejected, suffered, and died that we might find peace and forgiveness. Jesus was out of place on earth so that you and I would be made right for heaven, His home.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for going out of place for us when You left Your home in heaven to live with us here on earth. Through Your sacrifice and death in our place, we are forgiven all our sins and inherit eternal life. Move us to leave our sinful lives and walk with You on the road to heaven. We pray this in Your Name. Amen

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