Pause

O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray. / Cast out our sin and enter in. Be born in us today! / We hear the Christmas angels, the great glad tidings tell. / O come to us, abide with us, our Lord, Emmanuel.

from “O Little Town of Bethlehem” by Phillips Brooks (1868)

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Listen

Therefore, brothers and sisters, you must be patient as you wait for the coming of the Lord. Consider the farmer who waits patiently for the coming of rain in the fall and spring, looking forward to the precious fruit of the earth. You also must wait patiently, strengthening your resolve, because the coming of the Lord is near.

James 5:7-8

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Think

One of the hardest parts of Advent, I think, is the waiting. The build up to Christmas and the process of waiting for the Christ child are difficult because we want to immediately sing “Joy to the World” and celebrate that our Savior is born.

The waiting must be the most trying part of a farmer’s life, too. So much goes into preparing the fields and planting the seeds. However, the work isn’t completed with the sowing. Patience and continued effort are required to feel the joy of a successful harvest.

Similarly, shepherds watching their flocks at night must have yearned for the sun's first beams to light the world. Perhaps, they longed for the Morning Star to shed its first rays. But, there’s still plenty of guarding left to be done before the shadows fully retreat.

As we near Christmas Day, our anticipation builds and we must be patient waiting on the Messiah. What work remains to prepare the way of the Lord? How can we find joy in waiting today?

Daniel Potter

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Pray

I know that your joy is coming, God, and I long to experience such a gift. Teach me, as I wait, how I might grow my heart to invite the Savior into this world more fully. Your light will seem that much brighter, will bring that much more joy for the waiting. Come, Lord Jesus. Amen.

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Go

Jesus is coming.

Our Savior is nigh.

Yearn for that gift,

and welcome its light.

Amen.

Daniel Potter

Daniel Potter is the Minister of Youth at First Baptist Church of Columbus, GA. Daniel is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity. In his free time, Daniel loves spending time with his wife, throwing a frisbee for his dog, cheering on the Tar Heels, and everything musical.

Divinium Mysterium

Nathan Hanson

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