May It Be, According to Your Word

Today is Sunday, the nineteenth of December, 2021, the fourth Sunday of Advent. The theme of the fourth week of Advent is love.

Peace of Christ be with you!

Day 23,292

Only six more days until Christmas!

I have several boxes to pick up at our local Amazon Hub Locker, today, and I think the last few Christmas presents should be delivered tomorrow or by Wednesday at least. There is a chance that one of our gifts might not make it before Christmas, but it’s not a huge problem.

Yesterday was a good day at the library, but it seemed a bit long and slow. It wasn’t very busy, and especially the last ninety minutes or so seemed dead. I think everyone else felt the same way, because I swear we were out the back door in less than ten minutes after the library closed.

We are actually having our church gathering in person, today. I think they met at the house last Sunday, as well, but we weren’t there. I’ve got a large grocery order scheduled to deliver from Albertson’s, this afternoon, which will (if we get everything) take care of most of what we need for the Christmas holidays. There are a few things that they did not have, and there will probably be a thing or two that wind up not getting fulfilled, so I’ll probably have to run out and grab a few items tomorrow.

I only work two days, this week, Tuesday night and Wednesday all day. I’ll be off Friday and Saturday for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. That’s one of the reasons that I worked yesterday. The main reason I worked yesterday was because one of our other aides needed to have the day off, though.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Hidden Gifts of Christmas, by Daryl Madden

Listen my dear child
Soul to be aware
Gifts of Christmas coming
Are hidden everywhere

Come to look above
The same stars shining bright
That led Mary and Joseph
Through the deserts night

Wrapping every present
The Spirit here to know
The same true heart giving
Three wise men did show

The treasures of the season
Found within a prayer
Of peace and hope and love
Rejoicing and to share

Please visit Daryl’s site to see his other poetry.

Dear friends, 
since God so loved us, 
we also ought to love one another.
(1 John 4:11 NIV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for the fact that "God so loved us"
2. for the gift of the ability to love one another
3. that You are constantly doing "new things"
4. for the ability to keep "pressing on"
5. for the willingness of Mary to be a part of Your miracle

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.
(Psalms 91:11 ESV)

Behold, I am doing a new thing; 
now it springs forth, 
do you not perceive it? 
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
(Isaiah 43:19 ESV)
And the angel said to them, 
"Fear not, 
for behold, I bring you 
good news of great joy that will be for all the people."
(Luke 2:10 ESV)
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. 
But one thing I do: 
forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 
I press on toward the goal for the prize 
of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 
(Philippians 3:13-14 ESV)

Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year

ADVENT – DAY TWENTY-TWO

INVITATION

Restore us, O God; 
make your face shine on us, 
that we may be saved. 
(Psalms 80:3 NIV)

I pause to consider the love of God, which enables us to love Him and love one another. I am praying, this week, especially, for more ability to display that love to everyone.

BIBLE SONG

In you, LORD my God, I put my trust.

 I trust in you; 
do not let me be put to shame,
 nor let my enemies triumph over me.
 No one who hopes in you 
will ever be put to shame, 
but shame will come on those 
who are treacherous without cause. 

Show me your ways, LORD, 
teach me your paths. 
Guide me in your truth and teach me, 
for you are God my Savior, 
and my hope is in you all day long. 
(Psalms 25:1-5 NIV)

BIBLE READING

In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." 
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob's descendants forever; his kingdom will never end." 
"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" 
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail." 
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May your word to me be fulfilled." Then the angel left her. 
(Luke 1:26-38 NIV)

DWELLING: SILENCE AND MEDITATION

As I leisurely read these passages again, I look for words or ideas that stir within me. As I linger over them, I pray these back to the Lord, seeking His guidance for my walk in His kingdom.

Father, I am grateful, today, for the ability to keep pressing on, to keep on walking in this kingdom life, the life You have given me, and the path that You have shown me. I put my trust fully in You, depending on You for safety and provision, as well as spiritual life. I believe that all who put their trust in You will be free from the fear of being shamed. Your trust is a safe place for us to be, and makes this world safe for us, as well. I have nothing to fear, just as Your Word constantly commands me to “fear not.”

Keep showing me Your paths, Lord, as I continue to look for them. Don’t let me stop seeking You.

Thank You for the willingness of Mary to be Your servant in this miracle of the coming of Jesus. May I be as accepting of Your will as she was.

Give us all Advent hope and joy, Father, and the willingness to be a channel for Your Good News.

"Visiting God,
eclipse my doubts and questions with the brightness of Your presence,
and,
like Mary,
overshadow my life with Your Holy Spirit,
conceiving in me a true faith that receives Jesus Christ,
making Him my own and me Your favored one.
Amen."

BLESSING

"May the tender mercy of our God, 
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven,
 shine on those living in darkness 
and guide our feet into the path of peace." 
(based on Luke 1:78-79 )
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, 
have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world,
have mercy upon us.
O, Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world,
grant us Your peace.
(Agnus Dei)

Grace and peace, friends.