ADVENT DEVOTION | LET US ADORE HIM

This last Advent Devotion comes to us from Emily Evans. 

“O come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant come ye,
O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels!
O come, let us adore Him ,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.”

O Come Let us Adore Him. We sing those words every Christmas season, but why?

O come let us adore Him! This song is inviting us, God’s faithful people to come. Many Christmas songs sing about Jesus coming to us, but this song is about us coming to Him. Jesus – that sweet baby born in a manger, no room for Him at the inn, surrounded by farm animals, stinky smells, and no heat. What was special about this baby? And why should we come adore Him?

Every Christmas we celebrate the birth of this baby, who was, and is, King – King of all Kings. The king that for years and years people waited, hoped, and prayed for. He finally came, and came in the most un-kinglike way possible. (Are we waiting, hoping, and praying for His second arrival, just like they did many years ago?)

When Jesus was born many were confused and didn’t believe that He was actually the king they had been waiting for, but we have the advantage of hindsight – we know the rest of the story! Jesus grew up, He taught and loved, and when He was just thirty-three years old, He died. He died on a cross – a terrible death – to save each of us who accepts Him. That is something to go and adore! Let us go adore this baby that was born to save us!

My prayer for us all is that as we approach Christmas this year, and after Christmas has come and gone, that we are in a constant state of adoration for Christ our King. Doing this will help prepare our hearts and minds for the birthday of Christ; and although we have so much to look forward to on Christmas, what Jesus has done is worthy of so much more than being loved, worshipped, and adored on only one day of the year. So, again I say, “O Come Let us Adore Him!”

 

Emily Evans has been a camper at Delanco and served on many weekly staffs. She was married this past June here at camp and now serves at Sicklerville Church as Director Children’s & Family Ministries.

ADVENT DEVOTION | GOD HAS A PLAN

Today’s Advent Devotion comes from Jack Broomell. Check back each day for a new devotion.

Everyone is gearing up for Christmas and some might even have all their shopping done, while I have about 20% done. While I write this devotion I am coming off of my first Christmas party with my new youth group. While I reflected on all the logistical things, I also got a chance to reflect on where my life has gone, not just in the past year but my entire life. If you know me, then you know that I never expected to be a youth pastor, let alone involved in the church. This got me thinking about the story of Christmas and the story of God.

I feel as though we give “randomness” too much power in our lives. I can personally testify that as I look back I see how the paths I chose eventually led me to God and the direction He wanted me to go in. We often don’t realize the plan that God has for us and for the world. One of the greatest reminders? The birth of Jesus! In Luke 1:27-37 we see God jump into this world to reveal his plan to Mary. Before this Mary was just another face in the crowd. At this point it had been a few hundred years since God had stepped in. God made it clear that it wasn’t about her plans, but it was about His.

After that Mary didn’t hear from the angel again and she might have felt abandoned or that everything is random. She now is carrying a child to a town that is 80 miles away and she is unable to share her true story. Herod is trying to kill her child and then proceeds to kill other children trying to find Jesus. Then as Jesus grows up she sees her son beaten and crucified. In that moment she probably thought that it was all random, that by chance Jesus was unjustly punished. We have the vantage point of knowing exactly how that turned out.

This Christmas season try to remember that God has a plan in motion for all of us and for this world. Let us all respond like Mary did in Luke 1:38 “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said”. We as people always tend to look for a purpose in the world, sometimes we find it right away, other times we can take awhile. With Christmas here, we are reminded that life isn’t as random as it seems, God is making a story and wants to use every one of us. There is a divine story unfolding that we are called to be apart of. I for one am thankful that God brought me into his plans and chose me to be where I am today. This Christmas I am thankful for an active and loving God. He doesn’t interrupt His plans, only ours.

 

Jack Broomell has been on weekly volunteer staff, a speaker, and retreat dean at Delanco. He is currently the Director of Youth Ministries at St. John’s UMC in Turnersville, NJ. 

ADVENT DEVOTION | GOD CHOSE TO JOIN US

 

Today’s Advent Devotion comes from John Chaffee. Check back each day for a new devotion.

I bet if you were to ask people to share their favorite memory of Christmas, no matter who you ask, you’re gonna get a good story.

My own personal memories of Christmas are filled with good times at my aunt and uncle’s place in Royersford, PA.  All of us kids would sleep in a giant room on the second floor with our own sleeping bags, stay up way past midnight, and yet still get up before sunrise.  Now hold on, this does not mean that we were able to go downstairs.  Nope, we had to sit at the top of the steps until 7am when the parents would finally let us all storm the Christmas tree.  Unfortunately, the staircase creaked like no other and there was no way to sneak down without making a noise or trying to jump the whole staircase without much of a run-up (trust me, we certainly debated the possibility of jumping the whole staircase).

Christmas is, without a doubt, a fantastic holiday.  Of course, some people have mixed feelings toward the holiday itself, but that doesn’t diminish the deep lesson that comes to us through what that day celebrates.

You see, December 25th is the day that the Church has chosen to remember the most profound mystery of Christianity; God came to dwell among humankind.  Rather than to stay separate and superior, God chose to join us on our level.  We know this mystery as the Incarnation, as God taking on human form out of a loving desire to be with us and to share His life with us.

As I grow older, this side of the holiday becomes more and more important to me.  Yes, the holiday is still filled with family, gifting one another, and plenty of classic Christmas songs, but it also helps to anchor me.  Christmas anchors me because it preaches to me that the ordinary can be spiritual, because God became ordinary in the Incarnation.

May we be a people that remember Christmas as the time when God chose to come close to humanity in the birth of Jesus.  May we be a people that see God in ordinary places and perhaps even help others to find God in the ordinary.  And, may we, be living examples of the Incarnation in our very selves and be the presence of Jesus to all that we meet.

 

John Chaffee has been a teacher and speaker at Delanco the past few summers. He is currently the Director of Youth Ministries at Narberth Presbyterian Church in PA.