2015 Advent Devotional


 
 
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Friday, December 25, 2015 - Christmas Day

Morning Psalms: Ps. 2, Ps. 85 | Evening Psalms: Ps. 110, Ps. 132
Micah 4:1-5,5:2-4 | 1 John 4:7-16 | John 3:31-26
 
The Divine King Comes
 
The arrival of the long awaited divine-king will be greeted with joy or alarm depending on how we stand before him. For those who read this devotional, who have heeded the warnings of the prophets, and heard the call of the apostles to come and follow Jesus, this is a great day indeed. Happy Christmas!
 
But Micah and John both make it clear that this is not the arrival of a doting uncle exuding what C.S. Lewis mocks in The Problem of Pain as “senile benevolence.” This is the coming of the God of love, as we see in 1 John 4:7, but it is a love that calls for propitiation (v 10), for a cleansing from sin that averts God’s righteous wrath. As theologian P.T. Forsyth reminds us, God’s love is a holy love.
 
The first coming of Jesus Christ at Christmas is good news because he came not to bring the judgement of God on sin, but to bear that judgement himself (2 Cor 5:21). That is how propitiation was made, and that is the only basis on which any of us can look forward to Christ’s second coming with joy: as forgiven sinners. That is the offer, received by faith, which John commends in John 3:36.
 
Jesus comes to bring peace with our holy God. That is the great gift we celebrate this day and every day. That is why the angels can sing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased” (Luke 2:14).
 
Thank you, holy Father, for sending your only Son at Christmas to bring sinful people back to you. May your grace overwhelm us again today and may we go out and proclaim this heavenly peace in our troubled world. For the glory of our savior, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen. 
The Very Rev. Dr. Justyn Terry
Dean and President
Trinity School for Ministry
Ambridge, PA
 
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