Advent Devotion - Day 10


December 6, 2022

Join us through this special time of Advent as we dive deeper into the Word of God. Each day, we will pray and reflect on a different passage from Scripture. Daily Readings are from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, and reflections are written by our church staff.

Opening Prayer:

Give us, O Lord,
Steadfast hearts, which no unworthy thought can drag downward,
Unconquered hearts, which no tribulation can wear out,
Upright hearts, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside.
Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God,
Understanding to know you, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace you;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

(Saint Thomas, Italy, 13th Century)

Scripture Reading:

Isaiah 41:14-20

Though you are a lowly worm, O Jacob,
  don’t be afraid, people of Israel, for I will help you.
I am the LORD, your Redeemer.
  I am the Holy One of Israel.’
You will be a new threshing instrument
  with many sharp teeth.
You will tear your enemies apart,
  making chaff of mountains.
You will toss them into the air,
  and the wind will blow them all away;
  a whirlwind will scatter them.
Then you will rejoice in the LORD.
  You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.

“When the poor and needy search for water and there is none,
  and their tongues are parched from thirst,
then I, the LORD, will answer them.
  I, the God of Israel, will never abandon them.
I will open up rivers for them on the high plateaus.
  I will give them fountains of water in the valleys.
I will fill the desert with pools of water.
  Rivers fed by springs will flow across the parched ground.
I will plant trees in the barren desert—
  cedar, acacia, myrtle, olive, cypress, fir, and pine.
I am doing this so all who see this miracle
  will understand what it means—
that it is the LORD who has done this,
  the Holy One of Israel who created it.


One of the most humbling parts of my job is taking crews of middle school students on mission trips. Oftentimes, it is one of the first trips they’ve ever taken away from home without their parents, and along with this, it is one of the first trips they’ve taken where it’s not considered a vacation. These young people are often new to the world of mission trips and they are vulnerable; yet, they always seem to teach me something about our God in the end.

Several summers back, I led a group of very young pre-teens and teens to Grundy County, Tennessee through a mission organization known as Mountain Top. There we served the local community through construction projects for those in need. My group was assigned to a man who faced a great deal of medical issues and struggled to maintain his home, so, he asked us to come and repair his porch. The materials we were provided were not the greatest, including nearly petrified wood. Hours of pounding hammers and little progress led to a great amount of frustration among the students and the adults present. Then, a sixth-grade boy suggested we stop and pray – not just once – over every single nail we used to put this wood into place. Sweating and exhausted, we prayed over the first nail and watched it slide into the wood. We did it again and again and again, praising God after every board was secured. Every single person there stood back from that finished porch, knowing that we had just witnessed a miracle.

I couldn’t help but think of that story when I read Isaiah 41. How often do we run into difficulty or frustration and fail to turn to the Holy One who makes miracles happen? How often do we take on hardship and attempt to fix what we face on our own? We were doing plenty of that on that hot day in Grundy County. But when we look at this passage of old, we see that God is the One who brings things back together, for Redeemer is part of His name. I was reminded of that very promise on that mission trip, and we all find that reminder during this season of Advent. Christ’s entrance into this world is a miracle given to us in our neediness. It is proof of overflowing fountains of living water. It is growth in a dry and lonely place. It is love when we least deserve it. May these mighty acts of our God stir in us praise like no other.

Daily Challenge:

At the end of that mission trip in Grundy County, one of my students within our group gathered us together and gave us each a nail from our worksite. She smiled as she said, “So we remember what God did.” I pray this season is the same for each of us: that we look to Him as the miracle worker and praise him for what he has done in our lives. May we turn to him in all that we face. 
Today's reflection is written by:
Heather Winner

Director of Servant Students
Church of the Servant
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