Tuesday, January 3, 2023
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Beneath The Shadow Of The Cross"1 (Lyrics)

One snowy winter morning several years ago, I waved goodbye to my husband. A team of volunteers left in a small bus to build a house for a needy family in Mexico, and he was the main driver. Shivering in the -25°C (-13°F) morning, I turned back to the school building. Terry would enjoy the warm temperature in Mexico, and I was glad that he had the opportunity to join others in the church on this week-long mission trip.

Four days later, I heard from my husband. They were almost finished with the house, really a simple wooden structure quickly put together with only battery-powered hand tools. I marvelled at the speed with which such a goal could be accomplished. With just a twinge of envy at the news in this brief email, it struck me how different life was on the Baja Peninsula in Mexico, as compared to my life here in the snow belt. The project sounded fast-paced, exciting. Here in central Alberta, Canada, life went on, with nothing out of the ordinary happening, just the day-to-day getting up in the dark, driving an hour on snowy roads to get to school, and dealing there with children who felt the effects of being cooped up in the frigid weather.

Then, I remembered how much God values faithfulness.

Luke 1:6-7 – Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God's eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord's commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old. (NLT)

Zechariah had faithfully served in the temple for years. Finally, he was chosen by lot to burn incense in the sanctuary. God spoke to him there, and he received the startling news that after years of childlessness, he and Elizabeth in their old age were to become parents. God rewarded their faithfulness.

Fast forward a few months. Jesus was born, and later, His parents presented Him to the Lord in the temple for the purification offering.

Luke 2:25-28 – At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord's Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God. (NLT)

Anna, a prophet, was also there. "She never left the Temple, but stayed there day and night, worshipping God with fasting and prayer." (Luke 2:37b NLT)

Zechariah, Elizabeth, Simeon, and Anna were faithful, just fulfilling their calling and being patient. God rewarded them. Zechariah and Elizabeth had a son, and Simeon and Anna saw the Messiah. Simeon proclaimed Him in song, and Anna talked about Him to everyone who had been waiting to see the Messiah.

Whenever we think that our work or our daily tasks at home are just ordinary, let us remember these examples of faithfulness in God's Word, and rest assured that our faithfulness will one day be rewarded.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You that Your Word shows us examples of people who were faithful to You. Help us to continue being faithful in whatever mundane tasks You have set before us, knowing that You highly value this quality. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Alice Burnett <>
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks, Alice, for the encouraging words. Happy New Year.

    Amen Alice. Thanks for a good word today.

    Thanks Alice, good words of encouragement as we step into a new year! God bless!

    Many thanks Alice for sharing this with us. We often forget it is in the simplest things at times.

    Well Alice…you have done it again… written a very meaningful devotional.
    Thank you.

    We used to live in Red Deer. I’m wondering where you drove to for school that was an hour away? We know the area well.

    Thank you for sharing. I think we could always name a time when what we were doing for the Lord seemed very mundane next to what exciting ministries others were doing! Hit home for me!

    Thank you, Alice. I especially like this: Whenever we think that our work or our daily tasks at home are just ordinary, let us remember these examples of faithfulness in God’s Word, and rest assured that our faithfulness will one day be rewarded.

    Thank you for that Alice Burnett. I think about the Presbyterian church to which I belong and how our congregation has diminished so much that the daily tasks have fallen on the shoulders of one or two people with little interest shown by the rest. When I consider giving up such words inspire me to hang on.
    God Bless you.

    Greetings Alice and many thanks for another of your very interesting and meaningful devotionals. It is so important to follow the example of ones like Simeon and Anna in being patient and keeping the faith. There are times we get impatient waiting for the Lord’s answer to our prayers but in the end His timing is always for the best. Blessings for these important writings you present and keep warm thru these winter days. Having lived in your part of the country and even much farther North I remember well the chilly times at this time of year.

    Good morning, Alice,
    We all need hear this message at different times in our lives. I am not sure why that happens to us and we need that reminder that we are all special in God’s eyes and He has a purpose of us. If we are faithful, we will fulfill it and we might not even realize it that we have done something. God knows our heart and He knows when we are struggling, and He provides the encouragement until we hear it.
    Thank you for your dedication to PresbyCan. I very much appreciate your thoughts and sharing of your faith. Blessings for 2023.

    Happy New Year Alice
    Thank you and I hear Alberta is extremely cold. I originate from Ontario and we have our crazy lows also but I think Alberta is more so.
    Your thoughts today make me think of scripture in Colossians about doing unto the Lord.
    Hope your winter is not as severe as previous ones.
    God bless.


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