As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.’” Luke 3:4-5
A very special guest is coming to your house this Christmas. What should you do to get ready? You could certainly clean your home to make it ready and welcoming. But what if you do something to offend your guest while he’s there? If that happened, you’d probably feel obligated to apologize and perhaps even send a gift. Of course, the value of the gift would have to be proportionate to the size of the offense or you could risk offending your guest again.
What if your honored guest was God Himself? How would you prepare for His coming? What about the things you’ve done to offend Him – those things called sin? Any gift you might give already belongs to Him, so you can’t impress Him with even the most extravagant gesture. You certainly can’t make God think you are better than you are – He already knows you aren’t even half as good as you think you are.
Advent isn’t about God coming to punish you, nor is it about trying to make yourself worthy to meet God. Advent is about God honoring us with His presence in Jesus. Love was born at Christmas – Jesus came to do all that was necessary to make us worthy.
Prayer: Gracious God, we bless Your holy name for bringing joy to the world by sending Your Son, Jesus, to take away the punishment for our sins and reconcile us to You. Amen.
© 2006 Lutheran Hour Ministries
These devotions have been written by Rev. Paul and Kaye Wolff. Rev. Paul Wolff is a 1996 graduate of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He has served as a pastor in the Detroit area for 10 years. He and co-author wife, Kaye, live in Southfield, Michigan.
Kaye Dumas Wolff is Chairperson of the Black Ministry Church Planting Task Force and a Mission Affiliate of LCMS World Missions where she serves as a training facilitator for laity in evangelism and mission work. Kaye serves on the Advisory Council of the Ethnic Immigrant Institute of Theology of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, and she is a presenter for Lutheran Hour Ministries’ Equipping to Share Workshop.
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