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Advent Devotional 12/5/16

December 5, 2016, Barbara Alvarez
Week 2: Preparation
Advent is the time traditionally celebrated the weeks leading up to Christmas as a way to prepare our hearts for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you:  You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men.  When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has told us about.’  So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.” (Luke 2: 8-16)
Preparation: The shepherds were in the field busy watching over the sheep in their care.  Their thoughts certainly weren’t on the miracle occurring in the small town close to them; however, when they heard, they hurried off to see, and they were given the joy of being the first to witness the birth of Jesus Christ. Sometimes, in the hustle and bustle of getting ready for the holidays, our hearts and minds are scattered and pulled in so many directions.  As we make preparations to gather with friends and family to enjoy and share our gifts and love with one another, may we also prepare our hearts and focus our minds on the greatest gift ever given, when God gave us his son, Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Lord, prepare our hearts, as we come to this season, to be mindful of how much you love us and showed your love for us through sending Jesus as our Savior.  Prepare us to share generously and love one another richly with hearts of praise and thanksgiving to you.


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