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Unwrapping His Presence - Advent 2013
Advent (which means “coming”) is now upon us and marks the beginning of the Christian calendar year. It is meant to be a season of preparation to celebrate the coming of our Savior. During Advent we remember and reflect on the mystery of the incarnation and what it meant for Jesus to become human.
Many of us celebrate Advent and Christmas by shopping and buying, giving and receiving, wrapping, and unwrapping Christmas presents. Our sermon series and this devotional are meant to aid us in focusing on Jesus—the greatest gift ever given—by Unwrapping His Presence and so gaining a greater appreciation for who he is and all he has done for us. Day by day we will look to Christ, read his word, reflect on his names and what we learn about his identity and mission, and then respond with praise, thanksgiving, and faithful living in our everyday, ordinary lives.
The Advent and Christmas seasons also provide countless opportunities to share the good news of Jesus Christ in word and deed. Just as Christ went out of his way to bring light to a dark world, we can follow his example by becoming more sensitive to those around us who do not have the light of Christ. Pray and trust Christ to show you how he wants you to shine his light this Advent and Christmas by inviting others to join you in the countless opportunities to celebrate. And prayerfully consider participating with Christ in his ongoing work in the world by generously sharing your faith, money, time, and other resources to honor him and to bless others.
This season is also a wonderful time to reflect, to pray, and to make plans for the coming year to grow in Christ and to serve him. What things might God be calling you to leave behind to follow him more closely? How is God inviting you to arrange your life in 2014 to become like Christ together for the world?
Make plans to participate with others in our church in a month-long adventure. On Sunday, January 5, our church will begin a reading together, A 30-Day Experience: Apprenticeship with Jesus by Gary Moon. Perhaps this book would be a fitting gift for yourself or someone you know.
Jesus’ presence changed the world, and his ongoing presence through the Holy Spirit continues to change us, our community, and the world. May we experience the love, joy, and peace only Jesus brings as we unwrap his presence.
Grace and Peace,
Glenda Simpkins Hoffman
Devotional Booklet and Lection Divina:
Index to Daily Devotionals