LHM Advent Devotion – December 3, 2014 “Enjoying the Ride Together”

 

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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). 

 

“Enjoying the Ride Together”

December 3, 2014


2014 Advent Devotions cover

Read Romans 13:8-10.
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the Law. Romans 13:9B-10I’m sure my parents would have loved a video or DVD player in our station wagon when I was a kid. Instead, they had five boys sitting in the middle and back benches as we headed down the road to Grandma’s. Sometimes we’d sing songs to pass the time or play little games along the road, but usually we played the stop-touching-me or stay-on-your-side-of-the-seat game. Of course, that was about the time Dad threatened to turn the car around and head back home.

In our church family, we often act like brothers and sisters squeezed together in a car. We bicker and fight with each other; we complain about the most insignificant things; we insist on our way and pout when we don’t get it. Meanwhile, our unchurched family, friends, and neighbors wonder why anyone would ever want to be a part of family like that. How many times do we make our heavenward journey miserable for everyone, wondering if it would be better to go it alone?

That’s where Jesus shows the way. When His disciples argued about which of them would be the greatest or tried to get the best seats in heaven, Jesus showed them His humility and restored their unity. Even when the religious establishment — the Jewish leaders — misjudged Him, plotted His death, and stood by His cross heaping their scorn on Him, Jesus was quick to pray, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34b). And through His suffering and death at their hands, Jesus won our full pardon from His Father in heaven.

In this week’s Epistle reading, Paul shows us another way to travel together. He calls us to remember Christ’s sufferings and death for us, and to strive to live as our Savior did — loving our neighbor as ourselves.

As we make our journey toward the house of the Lord, we are not traveling alone. We are part of a caravan, a multitude of wonderful believers traveling along together, each guided by Christ up to God’s house. God has chosen every one of us. He has gathered us together to use our unique skills and talents as one body. If we travel together in joy and peace, learning to appreciate one another, our journey will be so much more thrilling, and we’ll be the kind of caravan other people will want to join. God grant us this peace and harmony for Jesus’ sake.

THE PRAYER: Father in heaven, open our hearts to truly love and forgive each other. Grant us a deep appreciation for each other, that combining our gifts and talents, we may bring glory to Your Name, and bring many to join us in heaven. Through Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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