Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Sunday Lectionary Readings for SUNDAY, December 22, 2019 - Fourth Sunday of Advent

https://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/revised-common-lectionary-semicontinuous/2019/12/22?version=NRSV

The Sunday Lectionary Readings
SUNDAY, December 22, 2019 - Fourth Sunday of Advent
(Revised Common Lectionary Year A)

REJOICE!
Isaiah 35:1-10; Psalm 146:5-10 or Luke 1:46b-55; James 5:7-10; Matthew 11:2-11

Opening Statement
We are almost to Christmas. We have been rushing around trying to get everything done for the “Big Day.” But our scriptures remind us that God is already preparing us to receive the glorious gift; God is placing a spirit of joy and faith in our hearts. In the simplest of ways, God has provided for our salvation. This is a time for happiness and joy. God is with us!

On the fourth Sunday of Advent, we hear the prophet foretell of Emmanuel, we see Joseph’s dream of Emmanuel, we hear the psalmist’s longing for a savior, and we hear Paul’s affirmation of a savior. On this Sunday before Christmas, we speak of God with us—in yearning, in promise, in certainty. It is an “almost … not yet … ah, it’s here” time. Can we be open to the surprise of wonder a child of promise brings us this year?



Fourth Sunday in Advent - Love
Loving God, we open ourselves to you this Christmas season.
As these candles are lit, light our lives with your imagination.
Show us the creative power of hope.
Teach us the peace that comes from justice.
Fill us with the kind of joy that cannot be contained, but must be shared.
Magnify your love within us.
Prepare our hearts to be transformed by you,
That we may walk in the light of Christ. Amen.

Opening Prayer
Lord of all life and all seasons, help us open our hearts to hear the words of promise and love that you send to us. Like Joseph, may we trust in your abiding love and power. Prepare us to receive your gift of grace and peace. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.

The Collect (Book of Common Prayers)
Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Prayer of Confession
Lord, we confess that we are rushing headlong into Christmas. It’s only two days away and we still have so much to do. Our preparations are far from complete, and we are exhausted. We wish this whole thing were over so that we could rest. Forgive our shortcomings and our short-sightedness. You have poured upon us blessing after blessing, daily reminding us of your love and presence; yet we have chosen to jump onto this “greased slide” into Christmas. Give us patience. Slow us down. Remind us of the ways in which you are present with us—not in the wrapped packages, the abundance of food, but in the love and compassion that is brought to all. Forgive us, we pray. Make us truly ready to receive your love and the gift of the Christ Child.

Words of Assurance (Isaiah 7, Matthew 1)
God comes to us in dreams and visions, in prophecies and affirmations, in longing and in hope, in salvation through a little child. Claim this promise for yourself, and let God's healing love fill you.

Prayer of the Day
Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. With your abundant grace and might, free us from the sin that hinders our faith, that eagerly we may receive your promises, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


First Reading
(The Sign of Immanuel)
Isaiah Gives Ahaz the Sign of Immanuel
7:10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, 11 Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven. 12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test. 13 Then Isaiah said: “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. 15 He shall eat curds and honey by the time he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the child knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land before whose two kings you are in dread will be deserted.


(Show the light of your countenance)
Prayer for Israel’s Restoration
To the leader: on Lilies, a Covenant. Of Asaph. A Psalm.
1  Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel,
     you who lead Joseph like a flock!
   You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth
2    before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh.
   Stir up your might,
     and come to save us!

3  Restore us, O God;
     let your face shine, that we may be saved.

4  O Lord God of hosts,
     how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?
5  You have fed them with the bread of tears,
     and given them tears to drink in full measure.
6  You make us the scorn of our neighbors;
     our enemies laugh among themselves.

7  Restore us, O God of hosts;
     let your face shine, that we may be saved.

17 But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand,
     the one whom you made strong for yourself.
18 Then we will never turn back from you;
     give us life, and we will call on your name.

19 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts;
     let your face shine, that we may be saved.


Second Reading
Salutation
1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, 3 the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name, 6 including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

7 To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


Gospel Acclamation
Alleluia. The virgin shall conceive and bear a son,and they shall name him Emmanuel. Alleluia. (Matt. 1:23)


The Gospel
(The Birth of Jesus the Messiah)
The Birth of Jesus the Messiah
1:18 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. 20 But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:

23 “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
     and they shall name him Emmanuel,”

which means, “God is with us.” 24 When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, 25 but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.


Here ends the Lessons

Click HERE to read today’s Holy Gospel Lesson message

The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven; by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Closing Prayer


Depart in peace, and take with you the certain knowledge
That God is always coming into the world.
We will seek God, not in a long ago stable or ancient manger,
But in the people we meet and the depths of our own hearts.
May the blessing of Christmas make you a blessing to others;
May the peace of the season pervade all that you do.
We will welcome the challenge of discipleship.
We will offer ourselves as God’s ministers.
We will go forth in hope, peace, joy, and love.

Optional parts of the readings are set off in [square brackets.]

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission.
The Sunday Lectionary Readings for SUNDAY, December 22, 2019 - Fourth Sunday of Advent
REJOICE!
Isaiah 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25

“The Incarnation of Jesus” The Sermon for SUNDAY, December 22, 2019 - Fourth Sunday of Advent


Our Gospel message comes to us today from the 1st chapter of Matthew, beginning with the 18th verse.

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.
Matthew 1:18-25 (NRSV)

All mighty God, we thank you for your word and the way that you in it revealed to us who you are and what you've done for us in Christ. Now as we open that word we pray that your spirit may be present, that all thoughts of worry or distraction may be removed and that the Spirit will allow us to hear your voice. And so, oh God, fill us with your spirit through the reading and proclamation of your word this day. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.

“The Incarnation of Jesus”

Grace be unto you and peace, from God our Father and from our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.

We are soon to celebrate one of the greatest mysteries of Christianity. God takes on human flesh by being born in a stable in Bethlehem. Our Creator takes on human flesh and blood in order to save the very creatures that ruined his perfect world. Would seem improbable that such an even would ever happen. It does. Seems impossible for God to become human. This, too, happens. Humanly speaking God becoming flesh is still a mystery. “Without any doubt, the mystery of our religion is great: He was revealed in flesh, vindicated in spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, taken up in glory” (1 Timothy 3:16). We cannot explain all of God’s technical details of this miraculous birth. Such is the nature of miracles. Thankfully scriptures detail the facts essential to our Christian faith.

IMMANUEL HAS COME. Miraculously. Prophetically.

As the night chilled the air and the moonlight, perhaps, sifted between the clouds to spotlight here and there over the landscape, Joseph lie sleeping… And an angel came to him to announce a big thing coming in a small way. Reading from Matthew’s gospel: “But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’”

Joseph lay sleeping, but what had his day been like before he took his night’s rest. We don’t know, but we can make some suppositions. We can guess at what a day—a most unsettling day—might have been like for Joseph. It may have been like this…

Joseph stood by his woodworking table that was standing to the side of the house under a thatched canopy that offered some relief from the relentless sun. Sweat beaded over his brow as he worked a piece of wood into a yoke to be sold to a local farmer.

“Ouch!” A sliver jammed into Joseph’s hand, right at the base of his thumb. He was not paying attention… once again he was thinking about Mary, his fiancee. She was going to have a baby, and it wasn’t his. She had told him stories about angels, and that the child within her was a special child. A child from God.

Although Mary had always demonstrated strong character and had always maintained her virtue with him and from what he could tell, was a moral and honest women, the story she wove around this pregnancy stretched his confidence to the extreme.

He would need to deal with this quietly. He, a virtuous man, could not marry her, but he did not want the situation to come to the attention of the religious authorities. That could literally mean Mary’s death.

How could she have allowed this to happen! And the story that she told; that an angel had said that this child would be a boy… to be named Jesus… that He was destined to be great, called the Son of God, and to be given the throne of his ancestor King David.

This was just too much! Who could believe this, even if it came from a woman as solid as Mary?

Still, just the other day he was talking with some other men of Nazareth and the topic was once again about the Messiah who they, and most Israelites, felt was going to return soon. Could Mary be carrying the Messiah?

But the Messiah would come as a mighty warrior king, not through a common women of Nazareth! No, not his Mary, perhaps from the family of Caiaphas would come the Messiah, but not from common people. Mary should have thought of another story. And yet, it was just like Mary to tell the truth, even if she would not be believed.

Well, so much for our suppositions. We know that Joseph doubted Mary’s account of her becoming pregnant, and we know that it took an angel to come to him in a dream and set things straight.

So Joseph takes Mary as his wife. The day comes when he and all of Nazareth are informed that they must return to their place of birth to register for a Roman census. “Cursed Romans,” Joseph must have muttered to himself, “forcing me to take out my wife and her special child on a long journey at the end of her pregnancy!”

There is no indication that Joseph ever connected the prophecy from the prophet Micah: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient daysbe ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” (Micah 5:2).

And there is a word from the Lord to us in this: When we go through difficult times, like Joseph being forced to travel with Mary at the critical point of her pregnancy, we can trust God to be working out His will—a sovereign purpose stretching back beyond our birth… from everlasting to everlasting.

We need not say, “God if you loved me, how can you allow this to happen!” Just think of Joseph. What if he had muttered along the way, “God, how can you allow this to be happening to my Mary and this special child? Maybe the angel in my dream was not real, but really just that—a dream? How could You allow this to happen if this child, to be named Jesus, is to be really special?”

Yet working high above Joseph’s understanding was the LORD, fulfilling His word of prophecy, and all the time the sovereign Lord knew that He and His angels would keep Mary and Joseph and the child safe from the hazards of travel and thugs along the way. All the time God knew where Jesus would be born, and that Joseph and his family would be kept safe.

Well, the day came for the birth of baby Jesus. Was it a quiet night like the Christmas hymn suggests? No—it was bustling with life! But I’ll not say much more on that, for I’ll be telling you all about the situation of Jesus’ birth in my Christmas sermon.

But what about us? Are we tired of Christmas, so that it has become like a “Silent Night” within our hearts? The years go by… Trees decorated go up and trees undecorated go down and we too easily begin to hush within our hearts the wonder of that day which we celebrate. How easily we forget that the angels were so electrified by what was happening that they could not contain themselves within the heavens. At the birth of Jesus they ripped open the barriers between heaven and earth to walk among the children of men and tell… and tell… and exclaim the excitement!

The day of the Savior’s birth was not hushed. Armies had gathered. The soldiers of evil hoarded… dark principalities that watched silently… dominions of Satan hiding in spiritual darkness, unaware that they were being tricked by the vulnerability they saw.

A baby being born, who they recognized to be the son of God. We know that the demons were first to recognize the true identity of Jesus. “How foolish the Patriarch of Heaven,” they may have hissed, “to clothe His Son in mortality! Doesn’t He know that Satan as the prince of this world is the master of torture and death over all flesh!”

Satan and the demons must have drooled at the sight! In heavenly glory God had been inapproachable and beyond any of their black arts. But now He was clothed in flesh… Now he could be hurt… Now He was in the reach of Hell’s weapons. How could this little child ever stand against Satan and his dark armies?

And we know that Satan had already planned his first attack against the Son of God. He placed the demon of murder into the heart of Herod and Herod dispatched his men to kill the first born of Bethlehem. But an angel of light foiled the plot. Jesus was taken to safety in Egypt.

But this was only the first round. Satan in his dark pride was confident that he would take apart the flesh of this child—this insignificantly born Messiah of God.

Little did Satan know that high above even His understanding God had fashioned in this child the heart of a warrior. A little baby, yes, but with a heart of strength and steal that would forge His own purity and righteousness into weapons far exceeding the arsenals of hell.

Yes, the little warrior would grow, continually assaulted by the weapons of hell—often wielded within human hearts—until Satan finally seemed to destroy Him on Calvary’s mountain.

There Jesus, no longer a baby, but just as precious to the Father in heaven as a baby held in loving arms… There the beloved son of God—the warrior of heaven—is broken piece by piece under the weapons of hell.

And He dies… and just as He dies, when Satan thought he would experience the greatest pleasure of His existence, demons from hell arrive saying that the doors of hell have been broken down. The Son of God is not dead, but he is routing hell, and cannot be stopped!

And Satan wailed the cry of a condemned soul whose neck is stretched onto a guillotine as the blade is released… knowing that it was just a matter of time… just a matter of time…

And three days after his death, the Warrior returned, spoke with us, and then went into heaven. And in my mind I hear the angels cheering as He entered its gates—GATES NOW FLUNG WIDE OPEN to receive all those who would be washed clean in His blood… to gather all those robed in His righteousness… to accept all those terrible sinners forgiven in the oceans of God’s grace through faith in God’s mighty warrior against evil, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Let us pray: Lord of all life and all seasons, help us open our hearts to hear the words of promise and love that you send to us. Like Joseph, may we trust in your abiding love and power. Prepare us to receive your gift of grace and peace. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.

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Scripture taken from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)® Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Sermon contributed by David Anderson.
Immanuel, who is God with us, has come miraculously and prophetically.

The Daily Prayer for SUNDAY, December 22, 2019


The Daily Prayer
SUNDAY, December 22, 2019

It is written in the Didache, “There are two ways, one of life and one of death, but a great difference between the two ways. The way of life, then, is this: first, you shall love God who made you; second, love your neighbor as yourself, and do not do to another what you would not want done to you.”

Lord, it sounds so easy to follow you because you only call us to love. But love is too much for us! Overwhelm us with your love so that our song of praise might continue in patient kindness and generous support of our neighbors throughout the day. Amen.

Verse of the Day SUNDAY, December 22, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/reading-plans/verse-of-the-day/2019/12/22?version=NIV

Luke 2:8-11 (NIV)
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
Read all of Luke 2

Listen to Luke 2

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Un dia a la Vez - Domingo 22 de Diciembre de 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/un-dia-vez/2019/12/22

El mejor ejemplo

Les he puesto el ejemplo, para que hagan lo mismo que yo he hecho con ustedes.
Juan 13:15 (NVI)

Tú y yo tenemos el llamado a ser ejemplo. ¿Has pensado alguna vez que por nuestra mala actitud hemos espantando literalmente gente que podría estar en los caminos de Dios?

¡Qué tremendo es que aun amando a Dios nos dejemos llevar por ese carácter explosivo que en un momento de ira dice y hace cualquier cosa menos buscar de Jesús!

¿Qué te parece si hoy traemos a nuestra memoria a cuantas personas hemos ofendido, maltratado o juzgado y por esas razones no quieren saber nada de ti ni de Dios? Sería de mucha bendición para tu vida que buscaras esas personas y les pidieras perdón.

No es bíblico ni sano llevarnos mal con otras personas. Eso daña nuestra vida espiritual y no permite que se desaten las bendiciones que nos envía Dios.

Cada día, dispongamos nuestro corazón de manera que refleje el carácter de Cristo y llevemos cautivo todo pensamiento a la obediencia del Padre.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
¿Has pensado alguna vez que por nuestra mala actitud hemos espantando literalmente gente que podría estar en los caminos de Dios?

Standing Strong Through the Storm - Sunday, December 22, 2019

https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/standing-strong-through-the-storm/2019/12/22
NEVER TOO OLD TO SERVE JESUS

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
Psalm 92:12-15 (NIV)

As I share with numerous audiences my experiences from years of ministry in Asia, I often try to drive home the point that the Church in China teaches us that you can never be too young and never too old to serve Jesus.

Our Western church culture marginalizes youths until they have finished some level of higher education. And even worse, we marginalize those who are retired as now being “over the hill” and only fit to sit in a rocking chair for whatever years remain for them.

But repeatedly in the Old Testament, there are references to the elderly “still bearing fruit in old age!” And the persecuted church is replete with stories and testimonies giving evidence.

In 1997 I wrote a booklet titled Great Bible Women of China in which I share the story of five elderly Chinese Bible Women who completed long fruitful lives of service, finishing strong.

In his book, Vietnam’s Christians: A Century of Growth in Adversity, veteran Vietnam missionary, Reg Reimer, shares the remarkable story of diminutive Mrs. Diep Thi Do. She and her pastor husband served as missionaries among the Stieng tribal people for twenty years. Just before Vietnam fell in 1975, her husband was captured by the communists and was never heard from again. She then did not dare do any tribal ministry except pray.

In 1981, emerging from the deep underground during the darkest years, she encountered some very discouraged Stieng Christians in the market. They begged her to be their missionary and pastor. She considered this a strong call from God and courageously called the Stieng back into church groups. She often “stared down” resistance from communist authorities. She presided over the building of the largest church sanctuary in Vietnam. She performed all pastoral functions including marrying, burying, appointing leaders and administering the sacraments. Her bravery and her spiritual authority ensured that no one ever challenged her operating essentially as a bishop.

Reg Reimer concludes, “She described herself as ‘only a little woman.’ But her faith and trust in God made her a giant in the lives of thousands of Stieng Christians she had served for fifty-five years. More than four thousand came to attend her funeral and celebrate her life when she died at age eighty-four in 2008.”[1] You can never be too old to serve Jesus! 

RESPONSE: Today I will acknowledge that disciples of Jesus can be useful for Him at any age—especially in their elderly years.

PRAYER: Pray that elderly believers will realize the giftedness they have and can continue to utilize.

1. Reg Reimer, Vietnam’s Christians: A Century of Growth in Adversity (Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 2011), p. 60.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

LHM Daily Devotions - December 22, 2019 - CALL HIM JESUS

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20191222

"CALL HIM JESUS"

Dec. 22, 2019

(The angel said) "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son, and you shall call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."

"Do not fear," the angel says to Joseph. Do not fear to take Mary as your wife, in spite of the problems that will come with that. Don't be afraid of the gossip—the people who will doubtless decide that you are the one who got her pregnant prematurely—the people who will whisper behind their hands that maybe there was somebody else. Don't be afraid.

But there must have been more than that. Don't be afraid to bring Mary home as your wife, even though you are about to begin a marriage like no other marriage in history—one which will be overshadowed from the beginning by the coming of the Son of God. Don't be afraid, even though this baby will be God incarnate—even though raising Him is beyond imagination—even though He will have enemies right and left, and they will break your heart. Don't be afraid.

Don't be afraid, because "She will bear a Son, and you shall call His Name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." Take courage and bring Mary home as your wife, because with her comes Jesus, and He is God-with-you. Neither of you will be alone. God Himself is with you in this unborn baby. Don't be afraid.

This baby is your Savior—the One who will rescue you and all people from the power of death and the devil. God has heard the cries of the human race, and He has come to save us. And you will call Him Jesus, which means "the Lord is Savior."

Don't be afraid. Jesus is for you.

THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for coming to be my Savior—and the Savior of all the world. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
  • What would scare you the most about the life Joseph was facing, if it were you in his place?
  • What does the word "Savior" mean to you?
  • What are you afraid of right now? How is Jesus helping you with it?

Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo. Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
What would scare you the most about the life Joseph was facing, if it were you in his place?

CPTLN devocional del 22 de Diciembre de 2019 - Llamarás su Nombre Jesús


ADVIENTO—NAVIDAD 2019

Llamarás su Nombre Jesús

22 de Diciembre de 2019

Mientras José reflexionaba al respecto, un ángel del Señor se le apareció en sueños y le dijo: "José, hijo de David, no temas recibir a María, tu mujer, porque su hijo ha sido concebido por el Espíritu Santo. María tendrá un hijo, a quien pondrás por nombre JESÚS."
Mateo 1:20-21 (RVC)

"No temas", le dice el ángel a José. No temas tomar a María como esposa, a pesar de los problemas que eso traerá consigo. No tengas miedo de los chismes, de las personas que sin duda decidirán que tú eres quien la embarazó prematuramente, de las personas que susurrarán que tal vez hubo alguien más. No tengas miedo.

Pero debe haber habido más que eso. No tengas miedo de traer a María a casa como tu esposa, aunque estás a punto de comenzar un matrimonio como ningún otro matrimonio en la historia, que se verá ensombrecido desde el principio por la venida del Hijo de Dios. No tengas miedo, a pesar de que este Niño es encarnado por Dios, aunque criarlo esté más allá de la imaginación, aunque vaya a tener enemigos a diestra y siniestra, y aunque te vaya a romper el corazón. No tengas miedo.

No tengas miedo, porque ella "tendrá un hijo, a quien pondrás por nombre JESÚS, porque él salvará a su pueblo de sus pecados". Anímate y lleva a María a tu casa como tu esposa, porque con ella viene Jesús y él es Emanuel, el Dios contigo. Ninguno de ustedes dos estará solo. Dios mismo está contigo mediante este Niño en el vientre de María. No tengas miedo.

Este Niño es tu Salvador: él te rescatará a ti y a todas las personas del poder de la muerte y del demonio. Dios ha escuchado los gritos de la raza humana y ha venido a salvarnos. Y lo llamarás Jesús, que significa "el Señor es Salvador".

No tengas miedo. Jesús es para ti.

ORACIÓN: Querido Jesús, gracias por venir a ser mi Salvador, y el Salvador de todo el mundo. En tu nombre. Amén.

Dra. Kari Vo

Para reflexionar:
  • ¿Qué significa para ti la palabra "Salvador"?
  • ¿De qué tienes miedo en estos momentos? ¿Cómo te ayuda Jesús con eso?

© Copyright 2019 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. ¡Utilice estas devociones en sus boletines! Usado con permiso. Todos los derechos reservados por la Int'l LLL.
¿Qué significa para ti la palabra "Salvador"?

Unser Täglich Brot - Der Segen des Vaters

https://unsertaeglichbrot.org/2019/12/22/der-segen-des-vaters/

Der Segen des Vaters

Lesung: 1. Johannes 3,1-3 | Die Bibel in einem Jahr: Micha 6-7, Offenbarung 13

Seht, was für eine Liebe unser himmlischer Vater uns geschenkt hat.

Kürzlich baten mich einige Menschen aus unserer Gemeinde, die schlechte Beziehungen zu ihren Vätern hatten, als liebende Vaterfigur für sie einzustehen und sie zu segnen. Dieser Segen bat um Vergebung für die Art und Weise, wie ein Vater seine Kinder verletzen kann, wenn zu hohe Erwartungen gesetzt werden, er abwesend ist, keine liebevolle Nähe oder keine Bestätigungen gibt. Der Segen brachte aber auch Freude, Bewunderung und überreiche Liebe zum Ausdruck. Als ich den Segen aussprach, weinte ich. Ich erkannte, wie sehr auch ich diese Worte brauchte und wie sehr meine Kinder sie brauchten.

Die Bibel spricht wiederholt von Gott als unserem Vater, eine Wirklichkeit, die die verzerrte Vorstellung eines Vaters, die wir vielleicht haben, korrigiert. Gott, unser ewiger Vater, hat „uns beschenkt“ mit der perfekten Liebe und uns zu „Kindern Gottes“ gemacht (1. Johannes 3,1). Unsere Identität als Söhne und Töchter Gottes erdet uns in einer Welt voller Angst. „Wir sind Kinder Gottes“, sagt Johannes, auch wenn „wir uns das nicht einmal vorstellen können“ (V. 2). Wir stehen vor sich ständig verändernden Herausforderungen, daher können wir uns nur darauf stützen, dass unser Vater uns liebt und für uns sorgt. Damit hört er nie auf. Wenn alles gesagt und getan ist, sagt Gott durch die Worte des Johannes, dass wir sicher sein können, dass wir sein werden wie er (V. 2).

Inmitten unserer Ängste, Verletzungen und Versagen, spricht uns unser guter Vater einen Segen seiner unerschöpflichen Liebe zu. Gott beharrt darauf, dass wir zu ihm gehören, denn er hat uns zu seinen Kindern gemacht.
Was kommt dir in den Sinn, wenn du über das Wort Vater nachdenkst? Wie verändert sich dein Bild eines Vaters, wenn du an Gottes überwältigende Liebe nachdenkst?
Herr, lehre mich immer mehr, wie du mein Vater bist. Möge ich deine Fürsorge erleben und kennenlernen.


© 2019 Unser Täglich Brot
Kürzlich baten mich einige Menschen aus unserer Gemeinde, die schlechte Beziehungen zu ihren Vätern hatten, als liebende Vaterfigur für sie einzustehen und sie zu segnen.