Advent Devotion 02
Today we begin with the question:
“When is Advent season?”
Advent season begins on Sunday that falls between November 27th and December 3rd, and ends on 24th December each year. Advent 2020 begins on Sunday, November 29th, and ends on Thursday, December 24th. Each day is allocated an Old Testament and a New Testament reading for our reflection.
Do you sometimes wonder why some people persist in their disbelief about God, despite the many opportunities available to hear God’s messages and see God at work?
Let us reflect on “God’s grace” underlined in the scheduled readings for today.
The Old Testament Isaiah 26:1-13 reads in part:
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.
He humbles those who dwell on high,
he lays the lofty city low;
he levels it to the ground
and casts it down to the dust (…)
“But when grace is shown to the wicked,
they do not learn righteousness;
even in a land of uprightness they go on doing evil
and do not regard the majesty of the Lord.
Lord, your hand is lifted high,
but they do not see it.
Let them see your zeal for your people and be put to shame;
let the fire reserved for your enemies consume them.
The New Testament Matthew 12: 22-37 reads in part:
“Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons (…)
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
The writers of both readings allude to the good news of God’s grace to the wicked and loving activities of healing of the demon-possessed and disabled. Also, the bad news of some people’s inability to appreciate the activities of God’s hand and the work of His Spirit. The inability to respond to God’s grace by their failure to learn and practice righteousness in spite the opportunities in the land for hearing and learning from God’s word. The inability to appreciate activities of the Holy Spirit in their midst. Instead, in their pride, they oppose and misrepresent in deed and words.
We must pray for ourselves and others.
“Dear Lord, we repent our pride and indifference towards you word. May your Spirit open your word to our hearts and our hearts to your word. Also strengthen our will to obey the same, in our day to-day lives."