Advent & Christmastide Devotional
Week 3: Preparation Day 20

Fri, Dec 22

Invitation – Isaiah 40:3

A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

Scripture Reading – Matthew 1:18-23

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “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.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).

Dwelling

Humble yourself before God. Read again, out loud if possible. Which words or phrases are particularly striking? What do they reveal about God? About us? Respond to God accordingly, resting in Him.

Guided Prayer

  • Thank God that he wants to be with us.
  • Recollect that we do not have to be driven by fear.
  • Anticipate the miraculous work of the incarnation.

Confessional Prayer – NCC 22

Emmanuel, thank you for your body, that flesh that still lives and made you like us. Your perfect holiness prevailed in spite of your subjection to every human frailty and temptation. Because you are able to sympathize with every weakness, we are never alone, never without help. When we succumb where you did not, your perfect sacrifice covers us. We owe every triumph over our own sin to the life in the Spirit you made possible by coming to us. Bring us to be with you forever, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Blessing – Isaiah 40:8

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.