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Monday, December 2, 2013

Today’s Reading | Isaiah 40:1–5

Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
    and cry to her
that she has served her term,
     that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
     double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
    and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
    and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
    and all people shall see it together,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (NRSV)


Reflection

One of our favorite Christmas decorations is the nativity scene we inherited from the kids’ great-grandparents. It has a little light in the back of a rustic wood stable with pretty painted clay figurines, including an angel that hangs at the front peak of the roof and a wind-up music box that plays “Silent Night.” Each year, after Thanksgiving we clean house and set up our Christmas decorations. We put the nativity scene in a prominent place at the center of our hearth, near our Christmas tree. To gaze at it in the evenings with shimmering light coming from its “star” and the decorated tree gives us a feeling of calm and provides a sense of comfort.

During Advent, we talk about “cleaning house” and “preparing the way” for Jesus—making room in our hearts for him so that the light of his love can shine through us. This year the writing of this devotion prompted us to pause and think about how we might shine the light of the love of Jesus and help provide comfort for others less fortunate than we are. One way we settled on was to make trail mix for the Night Ministry, which is located relatively close to our home and the children’s school.


Prayer

Dear God, thank you for always being there to help me. Thank you for always being there to forgive me. Thank you for bringing me the comfort that Jesus has saved me. Amen.


Written by Ned, Pam, Emma, and Addison Morley, Fourth Church family


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