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Advent Devotional 12-13-21

Good morning!  Today’s devotional comes to us from Jean (Mrasek) Pickett.  Many of you undoubtedly know Jean in her role as the Chancellor’s Chief of Staff, though you might be unfamiliar with her new last name.  Last month I had the wonderful honor of officiating the intimate wedding ceremony of Howard and Jean Pickett!  It was a beautiful day filled with hope, peace, JOY, and love.  So when it came time to find a devotional writer to write about JOY, I knew Jean would be the perfect choice.  I trust you will be moved by her words for us today as we begin this week of JOY.  Blessings to you…





Isaiah 9:6

 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 



The holiday season is here, and many of us are busy shopping and wrapping with the goal in mind of presenting gifts to our family members, friends, and loved ones.  I personally find abundant joy in my quest to find the perfect gift for my loved ones. There is great joy in my heart as the giver.

This time of year, I reflect on God as the giver, and the anticipation of the new King brought into this world more than 2,000 years ago.  We know from scripture found in the Old Testament that God’s people were waiting and hopeful for the Messiah who would be…”Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” But the presentation of the new King was done in an unpredictable and unconventional way–a baby boy born in a manger. God gave us the ultimate gift in bringing Jesus to earth to live among us in a humble manner.  His approach was perfect.  His presentation of his beloved son was heartfelt and “real” to the people.  Light and hope was offered to the world.  By way of baby Jesus, God fulfilled prophecy and demonstrated to us the true meaning of giving: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given.”

God continues to present me with many reasons to be joyful. After a season of sadness and loss, one that that was both devastating and painful, God carried me through the darkness and offered me light and hope. Who could have predicted that all of this would unfold in such a remarkable way in 2021?  God’s timing was perfect. He given me the opportunity for new beginnings through the marriage and union with someone special who offers me love, support, encouragement, and companionship.  For love never fails, and it endures all things.  (See 1 Corinthians 13.)

During Advent, may we be forever mindful of God’s unconditional love for us with the birth of Christ Jesus. Let us prepare our minds and hearts for Christmas with joyful hearts to give and receive with thanks and praise.

Let us pray.

Heavenly Father, we marvel at your impeccable timing and plan for our lives.  Thank you for teaching us to wait patiently and pray intently for the desires of our hearts.  Thank you for giving us light and hope in times of despair and devastation.  We are grateful for the many gifts you bestow upon us, but especially for the greatest gift of all…your son, Jesus Christ.  Help us to walk in your way and give of ourselves wholeheartedly. We lift our voices in praise and glorify your Holy Name. Amen. 


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