Advent Devotion - Day 12


December 8, 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:

Almighty God,
Holy are you, and blessed is your Son Jesus Christ, Your Spirit anointed him to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, and to announce that the time had come when you would save your people. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to all the world, until Christ comes in final victory and we feast at his heavenly banquet. Through your Son Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church, all honor and glory is yours, almighty Father, now and forever. Amen.

(Portions of Service of Word and Table I, The United Methodist Book of Worship, 1992)

Scripture Reading:

Psalm 146:5-10 (NRSVUE)

5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
  whose hope is in the LORD their God,
6 who made heaven and earth,
  the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith forever;
7   who executes justice for the oppressed;
  who gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets the prisoners free;
8   the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.
The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
  the LORD loves the righteous.
9 The LORD watches over the strangers;
  he upholds the orphan and the widow,
  but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
10 The LORD will reign forever,
  your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the LORD!


At verse 5 in our reading, the word “happy” appears. In some translations, “blessed” can be found. Either way, I think this is much like the word “beatific” (as in “beatitudes”). Basically, this means that one is spiritually happy or serene (peaceful). So how can one be serene amid the situations mentioned in verses 7-10? Those verses mention being oppressed, hungry, imprisoned, treated like a stranger, or bereft after the loss of family members. The good news: When faced with such situations, we can know in our hearts that we have a source of help. Even amid sorrow, despair, or mistreatment, we can be filled with a strange and beautiful peace, which can’t be taken from us.  

As the people of God waited for the Messiah–the chosen one who would bring God’s promise of salvation to fruition–they had to look with spiritual eyes. They saw hope, even when things appeared hopeless. Hope has a way of healing us. How can we be truly happy, fulfilled, and serene? We can place our hope in God, who loves us. Christ came to dwell among us. He taught, loved, healed, worked miracles, gave himself up, died, and arose. Because of that, we are blessed. We can look forward to Christmas (commemorating the coming of Christ), because we hold hope in our hearts right here and now.

Daily Challenge:

How might you celebrate the presence of Christ among us today by being involved in ministering to those who are hurting?   
Today's reflection is written by:
Rev. Tim Travers

Associate Minister of Congregational Care
Church of the Servant
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