Thursday, December 22nd

Longing:  An Advent Devotional

Overland Park Church of the Nazarene

Advent 2016

Thursday, December 22

 

CONNECT

As we continue our journey in Advent, let us sing, pray, and study our hopes and promises for our Savior:

 

Opening Prayer

We ask you, O Lord our God, that, having been gathered together in the unity of the faith, we may rejoice;  And at the coming of your Son our Savior we may go to meet him in the company of all your saints; Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  

 

HYMN

(Read this hymn meditatively)

O come, Divine Messiah;

The world in silence waits the day

When hope shall sing its triumph 

And sadness flee away

 

Refrain:

Dear Savior, haste!

Come, come to earth.

Dispel the night and show your face,

And bid us hail the dawn of grace 

O come, Divine Messiah;

The world in silence waits the day

When hope shall sing its triumph

And sadness flee away.  

 

O Christ, whom nations sigh for,

Whom priest and prophet long foretold,

Come break the captives’ fetters,

Redeem the long lost fold.

 

Refrain

You come in peace and meekness

And lowly will your cradle be;

All clothed in human weakness

Shall we your Godhead see.

 

Refrain

 

GROW: Isaiah 7:10-16

    On Sunday we learned King Ahaz lacked the faith to ask the Lord for the kind of things, which would bring healing, peace, and tranquility to the people of the southern kingdom of Judah.  Rather, Ahaz feigns the request, and claims he will not put the Lord to the test.  

    The faithlessness of Ahaz will not thwart the plans of the Lord, who brushes aside the King’s lack of fatih and gives him a sign anyway.  To the King, Isaiah speaks for the Lord: “Hear then, O house of David!  Is it too little for your to wary mortals, that you weary my God also?  Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign.”  The sign is not simply for the King.  The sign is the reminder and evidence that God will show Israel steadfast faithfulnessss and grace to God’s people.

    The sign is not another prophet, or another king, or another priest.  He is all of these and more.  The sign is a child, born of a virgin, having no human progenitor.  Rather, the child is God’s perfect and precious gift.  He is God with us.  He is not God far off, but God come near.  He is not a disinterested God lurking in the universe, but He is God walking, talking and living life with us in every way.  

    In your darkest hour God is with you.  In your most challenging times God is with you.  In your most fearful moments the Lord, Emmanuel, will be with you.

SERVE

    Today is a day of discovery.  In your comings and goings today look for ways in which God is with you.  As you note those precious and healing moments, bear witness to those around you of the deep abiding presence of God with you.  As you tell of God’s closeness in your life, will you in courage invite your friend, co-worker, classmate, colleague to receive Emmanuel into their life.  They will never be the same.  Invite them to pray with you.

—Pastor Phil Hamner