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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"STOLEN JOY"

December 5, 2016

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The angel said to him, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news" (Luke 1:19).

Read Luke 1:19-25.

It took a lot of behind-the-scenes work for us to get that pool table. Our neighbors let mom and dad stored it unassembled in their garage next door. Then late Christmas Eve our neighbor and my dad carried it piece by piece to our basement, where dad spent all the night putting it together. But you never saw a group of happier boys surrounding a pool table than that Christmas morning.

This also should be Zechariah's greatest day. Instead, his doubt and skepticism blinds him to the joy and wonder of all that God has promised. So the angel reveals his name: Gabriel. A priest like Zechariah should certainly recognize him as the angel God had sent several times to share His message with Daniel.

Beyond that, Gabriel reminds the foolish priest that he has come from the very presence of God Himself. He received these words directly from God and has come to bring this great message of good news.

God has made Christmas such a joyous season, but just like Zechariah we so often let the little things in life steal our joy, along with our voice of praise and thanksgiving to God. Agonizing over our problems and self-absorbed, we miss the peace and joy that God is carefully working everything out for us. We fail to see that if God has sent His Son to take care of our most important problems, i.e. saving us from death and His fiery wrath, He will certainly take care of our mundane needs as well.

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I have every reason to praise You and declare Your glorious name to everyone I see. Please turn me from fear, anger and bitterness and fill me with Your Holy Spirit so I may joyfully share Your good news this Christmas and always. In Jesus' Name. Amen.






Today's Bible Readings: Ezra 1-2    1 John 4

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