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Advent Devotional 12/14/16

December 14, 2016, Dr. Keith Whitworth
Scripture: Romans 13: 11-12
About face.
“Advent” simply means “coming” in Latin and beckons us to make ourselves worthy to celebrate the Lord’s coming into the world as the incarnate God of love. For Western churches, the season of advent has become a celebration of the expectations and anticipation of the coming of Christ represented in the nativity scene, wreaths, and calendars. For Eastern Orthodox churches, advent is more complex as it represents a time of fasting and penitence for sins. This focus is more in line with HOW are we “to make ourselves worthy” to celebrate the advent season. The apostle Paul captures this concept of repentance by stating we are to “cast off deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light” as we prepare for Christ’s coming. Decades ago I heard “repentance” described as being similar to soldier marching in one direction and then abruptly doing an “about face.” This concept struck a strong chord within my heart as it called me to not hold onto sin in my life but to abruptly confess and discard it. Sin has a way of creeping into our lives, and this season encourages us to shine the light from the Advent candles into the crevices of our heart. As a nation and as individuals, we are to turn away from hatred, greed, judgment, pride, intolerance, and insensitivity. We are to turn toward the light of Christ and be a beacon of love, generosity, acceptance, humbleness, tolerance, and sensitivity.
God, help us to be worthy to celebrate your coming. Help us to cast off the deeds of darkness. Help us to cast your light of love to the world.


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