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And God Comes Near
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PresbyCan Daily Devotional

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Today's Devotional

And God Comes Near

I have been reflecting on the role of nativity plays, pageants, and tableaux in the formation of our spirituality. Here are my thoughts.

In December 2017, as I watched the children and young adults play their various roles in the tableaux written by one of our church members, I felt a strong connection with the narrative. I knew many of the "actors" and their families — the braying and baa-ing little children who were donkeys and sheep, the three tall young men who were the magi, the teenager who was Mary, accompanied by a teenaged Joseph. Then there were the narrators, who occasionally stumbled over less-familiar words but who were obviously pouring their hearts and souls into the fulfillment of their responsibility. At least three continents and seven or eight countries were represented among the participants.

It was not important whether the children got the details of the biblical narrative "right". Into the realm of trivia faded the problem I have, as a science-informed, 21st-century Christian, with whether the events actually occurred the way they were being presented.

My imagination was freed up to experience the reality that Jesus was very near for the enactors of the story. In a very real way, Jesus had come alongside each person present in the sanctuary — including me.

And that is trustworthy. That is real. That we can depend on. That we can live out in our daily lives as well as during pageants and plays at Christmas.

John 1:1,14 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (NIV)

Prayer: Loving God, You have come near to us in order that we might come near to You. We pray that that may be our experience in sanctuary and Sunday church school and in the world where we live out our lives on a daily basis. Amen.

John Carr <>
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Today's Thought: Optimists are as often wrong as pessimists, but they are far happier.
Today's Verse: Luke 1:30-33 – The angel said to [Mary], "Do not be afraid, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever." (NIV)
Today's Bible Readings:
One-Year* Scripture Passage: Acts 23-24
Two-Year* Scripture Passages: 2 Kings 12; Philippians 1:12-30
Canadian Bible Society Daily Bible Reading: Philippians 4:2-23

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Post a PrayerLine Request or indicate that you have prayed for a PrayerLine request by clicking on the "I Prayed For You" icon beside each request. The PrayerLine Editor is George Myers.

Today's Prayer Partnership Request: posted by The Presbyterian Church in Canada <>
Pray that God will be with churches as they prepare Christmas baskets for their communities. May receiving families and our congregations join together to experience the hope, peace, joy, and love of Advent and prepare for the coming of the Lord.

Concerned Mom posted by Jane Reco on 12/13/2018
Thank you Lord and everyone who prayed for our family. We are moving into a larger space at the end of this month! Finally!! GOD IS SO GOOD!

More On "Rushed to rescue precious items", originally posted by Myrtle Macdonald on 11/30/2018:
"My sister died and as executor I must clear out her Assisted living suite by 5 PM today Friday...." (more)
Update posted on 12/14/2018: Service of Remembrance Dec 8 was comforting. 50 or 75 people came. Rowland played hymns and members of his former and present choir sang. Brother Walter chose "Blessed Assurance", Monica poured tea from mother's silver service. Bob brought coffee from Tim Hortons. The crackers, cheese, chips and veggies were enough. The sliced Ukrainian sausage and other goodies were left in my fridge, but fellowship was a blessing. Though unwell, cousins Ted (& Kathy) and Gilbert (& Jean) Klammer, daughter and husband came. Many greetings were sent. Now I can take time making decisions about precious things piled high in my guest room. Walter's son, exhausted from moving things to thrift stores, etc. on Dec 1 in Kelowna, caught the flu. Today, Dec 13 he returned to his home and wife in Ontario. Thank God for help from him and many, and for everything.

More On "Medical and Spiritual Needs", originally posted by Anonymous on 12/3/2018:
"Please pray for W who has been been out of sorts lately. Please pray for God's healing that he..." (more)
Update posted on 12/14/2018: Thank you all for your prayers. They ARE working. W is feeling better. Praise God.

Please Pray for Steve and Valerie posted by Missy on 12/14/2018
Hello Friends, Please pray for Steve who was just diagnosed with cancer. Pray for wisdom for the doctors in directing his course of treatment and strength and peace for his family. Thank you.

More On "Prayer for Carole", originally posted on 12/7/2018:
"Please ask the Holy Spirit to lay his healing hands upon Carole to stabilize her blood pressure..." (more)
Update posted on 12/14/2018: Please also pray for Carole as her large toe has some infection in it right now. Please pray for the infection to be cleared up and the toe to be healed. Blessings to all. Don

[ Older PrayerLine Requests ]

* The One-Year Bible Reading Plan is from ©1996-2006 by Michael Coley and used by permission.
* The Two-Year Bible Reading Plan is from the Cambridge Daily Reading Bible ©1995 Cambridge University Press and used by permission.
* Our public domain music is courtesy of The NetHymnal
The PresbyCan Daily Devotional is supported by The Presbyterian Church in Canada.

Robin Ross, Technical and Oversight Editor.

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    Robin and Staff

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