Advent Devotional: Week One - Friday

Scripture Reading: Matthew 2:13-15 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

When King Herod heard about the coming Messiah from the traveling wise men he was very worried because the Messiah could become King and cast him from his throne. He was jealous to guard his position, power and reputation. So an angel came to warn Joseph and Mary that they should travel to Egypt for safety. When Joseph and Mary return to Israel it casts our thoughts to the journey of God’s people out of slavery in Egypt to the promised land of Israel.

The Lord cares for his people and his plan. We often struggle to believe in God on both counts. We doubt that he knows our struggles and pain and, we doubt that he has a plan for our life, much less for all of creation. But we see that not only is he aware of the thoughts and intentions of Herod, but he also has a specific plan for Joseph, Mary, and Jesus to go to Egypt until it is safe to return.

Prayer: Almighty God, we confess that we often doubt your goodness and protection. Instead of relying on you knowing all things and being able to do whatever you want, we all our lives with anxiety and stress trying to vainly provide our own protection and comfort. In this season help us to grow in our faith and knowledge of you, your story, and your plan.

Advent Singing: Once in Royal David’s City

Once in royal David’s city stood a lowly cattle shed, where a mother laid her baby in a manger for his bed: Mary was that mother mild, Jesus Christ, her little child.

He came down to earth from heaven who is God and Lord of all; and his shelter was a stable, and his cradle was a stall: with the poor, and meek, and lowly lived on earth our Savior holy.

Jesus is our childhood’s pattern, day by day like us he grew; he was little, weak, and helpless, tears and smiles like us he knew: and he feels for all our sadness, and he shares in all our gladness.

And our eyes at last shall see him, through his own redeeming love, for that child, so dear and gentle, is our Lord in heaven above: and he leads his children on to the place where he has gone.

Not in that poor lowly stable with the oxen standing by we shall see him, but in heaven, set at God’s right hand on high; there his children gather round, bright like stars, with glory crowned.

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