Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Go Tell It On The Mountain"1 (Lyrics)
John 17:21 – [My prayer is] that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (NIV)
As we walk through the store aisles, the girls scan the rows for all the latest toys arriving for the Christmas season. Their anticipation of what lies ahead in a few more weeks is piqued high with excitement. They are waiting — waiting for that one special day of the year when they awake to wrapped presents snuggled under a decorated Christmas tree.
For Christians in the western world, Advent is a season of preparing for the coming of the Messiah. We wait not only for the celebration at Christmas of the birth of Jesus in the past, but also for His second coming in the future at a time of His choosing. Advent is a time of anticipation, which begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas.
Yet, as I was searching my mind the other day, trying to remember where I had tucked away my Advent log, I was reminded that Advent is meant to be a time to focus our hearts and minds on the true meaning of Christmas: Emmanuel, God with us. Jesus really is with us each and every day, for He has promised, "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:20b NIV)
Jesus is always with us through the indwelling power of His Holy Spirit, in each and every circumstance, no matter where we are or what we are doing, which in turn means that each and every day, we should be anticipating Jesus' words, actions, and thoughts to be making themselves known to us within our daily lives. For Jesus desires fellowship with us. He wants us to be one with Him as He is one with His Father.
So, this year, as we head with anticipation toward Christmas, let us also begin looking, each and every day, for the living Christ's appearance in our own thoughts, words, and actions, for indeed, He is with us, and we shall see Him, if we ask the Spirit to open our eyes to do so.
Prayer: Lord God, thank You so much that through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus is with us each and every day in each and every circumstance. Open our eyes this day and every day in anticipation to recognize and praise Him for His presence and appearance. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.