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Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Reverend Wayne Palmer

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin!  Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int’l LLL (LHM). 

Advent Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

“THE OUTCAST December 22, 2013 – Fourth Sunday in Advent “
December 22, 2013
Read John 5:32-47.  TEXT: He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him (John 1:11).

The manger scene is a much-loved symbol of Christmas. But have you ever stood out by a manger scene on a cold December night? It’s not as comfortable as it appears from inside a nice, warm car or house. It’s cold and drafty, and it’s certainly no place to lay a newborn baby. So why did Joseph choose such a place?
When it came time for Mary to give birth, Joseph frantically searched the little town of Bethlehem for shelter, but he found none. There was no room in the inn, no homeowner willing to open his guest chambers. He had no choice but to accept an animal shelter and lay Mary’s Son in that lowly feeding trough.
When Jesus grew up and began His public ministry, we might expect His chosen nation the Jews to receive Him. Some did, but most did not. The Jewish authorities rejected Him, turned Him over to the Gentiles, and called for the brutal and humiliating punishment of crucifixion. They even stood by, jeering at Him as He hung from the cross.
Before we come down too hard on them, however, we should look at ourselves. How often do we refuse to receive Him as our King? How often do we pick and choose which of His teachings we will accept and which we will reject? How often do we demand to live life on our own terms and not on His?

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, it was shameful of Your people to reject Your Son, but I must admit I have often done the same. Forgive me and give me a true gratitude and loyalty to the King who suffered and died on the cross to save me from my sins. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.