Enjoy today’s Advent devotional from fairmount.liberti.org/advent, located on cardiphonia.org.
4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through
the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God of endurance and encouragement
grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6 that together you may with
one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has
welcomed you, for the glory of God.
8 For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm
the promises given to the patriarchs, 9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is
written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.”
10 And again it is said, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”
11 And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him.”
12 And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles;
in him will the Gentiles hope.”
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you
may abound in hope.
God’s Word is living and active, and at times I am overwhelmed with the wonder of the story
that it tells, and the way the pieces of that story are woven together. From Jesse to David to Isaiah
to Jesus to Paul, a thread of the story of redemption weaves through nearly 1100 years of human
history. Here, in his letter to the church in Rome, Paul quotes Isaiah 11, which we read in the first
week of this devotional. If you’re not one to check the footnotes in your Bible, let me encourage
you to stop for a minute now and investigate the passages that are being quoted here. Take a
minute to read Isaiah 11:1-10, and then Matthew 12:15-21. Ask the Holy Spirit to bring to life in
your heart Paul’s statement in verse 4: these things written in the former days are for our
instruction, encouragement, and hope.
As we have spent these weeks reflecting on the prophecies and the story of Christmas, may we be
reminded of what an amazing hope we have because of the birth of Christ. It is a hope that has
carried God’s people through years of persecution; a hope that transcends language and culture; a
hope that the Spirit whispers to our hearts in our despair; a hope that empowers us to live in
harmony with one another, with one voice, glorifying the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. May that
hope fill your heart today as you prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth!
Prayer: The Lord is our light and our salvation—Whom shall we fear? The Lord is the
stronghold of our life—Of whom shall we be afraid? As we long for the light of Jesus, let us lay
aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely. Let us be glad and rejoice in the Lord’s
salvation! Arise, shine, for God’s light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon us.
Nations shall come to this light, and kings to the brightness of this dawn. Hallelujah!