Advent Devotion - Day 22


December 18, 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:

Dear Father,
As we move ever closer to the coming of the celebration of the Christ-child at Christmas, it is a time to stop and ponder things in our hearts. Like Joseph, you remind us you are close when our hopes and dreams for the future don’t turn out as planned. You are never far away when we face heartache and sorrow. You are nearby when family and friends can’t be in our lives this holiday season.
Christ, you are near when joy is swallowed up with emptiness. Amid life’s disappointments, thank you Lord for replacing our hopes and dreams with Your Divine will. Lord, Your ways are always good. Your dreams and plans are beyond our imagination.
God, Maker of Miracles, you are nigh when we cannot see your will or scorn holiness. When we say no to your call for obedience. Thanks, Ancient of Days for Your perseverance, Your tenacious grace, and tireless love for giving us second chances.
O Emmanuel, we anxiously await your return. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Keith Haney, Author

Scripture Reading:

Matthew 1:18-25

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. 20 But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."

22 All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us." 24 When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, 25 but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.


Let’s think about Joseph in this moment. Here he was expecting to begin this relationship with Mary, and suddenly she was bearing a child. If I were Joseph, I would feel betrayed, probably angry, confused, and many other emotions. It wouldn’t be until the angel arrives and tells Joseph “do not be afraid” that he would have had some clarity and understanding. Even after the angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph, the faith it must have taken to trust God’s plan at this moment. As we reflect on this passage, we can ask ourselves: "Are we willing to trust in God's plan for us, even when it may not make sense to us or go against what others expect of us?"

Daily Challenge:

Ask God if you living according to His will and plan, or are you living a life that only suits your needs? Ask God to show you His will for you and how you can begin to follow HIS PLAN. 
Today's reflection is written by:
Josh Snodgrass

Assistant Director of Servant Kids
Church of the Servant
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