Daily Devotions
 
Daily Devotion
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

The season of Advent has begun!  Advent is a four week time of waiting and preparing for the coming of Christ; in Bethlehem as a baby, in our lives today, and at the end of time.  Our devotions during Advent will focus how we might prepare our lives for Christ’s coming.  This week our theme is, “Preparing Our Hands.” 

My former colleague in Illinois always made me a little nervous when doing baptisms.  It was the way he held the babies.   He would tuck the baby’s feet under his elbow and cradle the head under his hand on that arm.  Once the baby was in position he would lean over the font looking a little like a full-back, cradling a football, charging into the defensive line. Then, with his free hand he would scoop the water over the baby’s head.  

Holding a baby with one hand looked tricky.  But then again, I am not a parent.  He is the parent of two sons—so he was much more used to holding babies than me.  Honestly, he was never being reckless in how he held the babies, he was just more practiced at it.  He had more confidence because of his experience as a parent. 

I wonder what it was like for Mary and Joseph to hold the baby Jesus in those first hours and days after he was born.  Imagine the nightmare of needing to pack up the baby Jesus and flee to Egypt (Matthew 2:13).  For new parents that could not have been easy.  But, I suspect that like my colleague and other parents, Mary and Joseph got much more comfortable holding baby Jesus as time went on.   Their hands probably became practiced at holding Jesus in one arm and doing household tasks with the other.   They grew in confidence.

This week, as a part of Advent, we are preparing our hands for the coming of Christ.  How practiced are we at cradling Jesus?  How confident in holding the Son of God in our lives, so the world can see the God who has come among us?  Like with holding a physical baby we get better at it the more we do it.  

So how can this metaphor of holding a baby and preparing for the coming of Jesus take on flesh in your life today?  I think we become more comfortable holding Christ in our lives the more we practice such things as prayer, worship, scripture reading and serving others.  The more we do these things the more comfortable we will be talking about our faith, using the teaching of Jesus to guide our daily lives, and stilling our hands and minds to enter into times of prayer. Practice may not lead to perfection, but I trust it will lead to a more fruitful life.

Here is something that I hope will help.  Today is December 1st  so in 24 days it will be Christmas Eve.  There are 24 chapters in the Gospel of Luke.  What if, for the next 24 days, you read one chapter of Luke each day?  Would spending that much time in Scripture this month help you gain confidence in holding Christ in your life for others to see?  Would you be more comfortable holding Jesus in one hand and doing the tasks of life in the other.  With holding Jesus that close, how might your life be changed?  Why not give it a try? 

Here is Luke Chapter 1: Luke 1

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