LHM Advent Devotion – December 15, 2014 “Dreaming of a White Christmas”

 

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Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Reverend Wayne Palmer

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“Dreaming of a White Christmas”
December 15, 2014

2014 Advent Devotions cover

Read Isaiah 35:1-7.
Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” Isaiah 35:3-4

Ordinarily I love a white Christmas, but that was the last thing my wife and I wanted for Christmas 2002. Mom was dying of cancer and we hoped desperately to be able to drive back the 550 miles for Christmas. The weather forecast in the days leading up to the holidays wasn’t good and, sure enough, on December 24 there were eight inches of snow on the ground and more expected to fall through the day. We were forced to cancel Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services at church, and soon it became painfully clear we would miss gathering for Mom’s last Christmas here on earth.

There are times in our lives and, sadly, at our Christmases, when we face problems that make us anxious, troubled, and fearful. Maybe you face great struggles this Christmas. Maybe you are hanging at the end of your rope. Maybe, instead of getting better, things are getting worse. It might seem God doesn’t care at all.

Our Lord Jesus understands that feeling better than we can imagine. As He hung from the cross enduring the fiery wrath of God for our sins He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46b). God the Father did not forsake His only begotten Son because of anything Jesus Himself had done. He forsook His Son because Jesus took upon Himself the punishment that should have fallen on each of us.

That is God’s love for all fallen men, women, and children. He demonstrated that love when He sent His Son at Christmas, the baby in Bethlehem’s manger, to be our sacrifice, the pure Lamb who would take away the sins of the world.

Jesus died and rose again to be our Good Shepherd. Having defeated death He is with us forever. When we are at the end of our wits, Jesus is there to hear our prayers and comfort us. “Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Come to Bethlehem’s manger. Come see Your Lord and Savior who was born to rescue you and bring you to eternal life in heaven.

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, there are so many times when I’m at a loss and when I don’t know where to turn. Remind me to come to You humbly and completely. You are my Lord and my risen Savior who has conquered death, hell, and given me eternal life. Amen.

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