Will you love the “you” you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around,
Through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?

from “The Summons,” John Bell, 1987

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Now all of this took place so that what the Lord had spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled:

Look! A virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son,

And they will call him, Emmanuel.

(Emmanuel means “God with us.”)

When Joseph woke up, he did just as an angel from God commanded and took Mary as his wife.

Matthew 1:22-24

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Sometimes a gift is not easy to receive. A few years ago I was excited to get a gym membership as a gift from a relative. I was so excited to be gifted this great present.

Yet, when I got home from Christmas family gatherings, I realized this was not an easy gift to receive. With this gift came commitment and a willingness to “make it happen.” Have you ever received such a gift — a gift that also placed a lot of expectations and responsibilities on you?

Joseph received a great gift in his dream. This child that Mary was carrying was not just any child. It was Emmanuel. Wow! Can you imagine how that felt?

Yet, in verse 24 it says that Joseph “did just as an angel from God commanded.” There was some responsibility and commitment to that gift. He had to take the next step and be obedient in moving forward with this gift — Jesus.

What must you do today to trust and take the next step with Jesus today?

Dale Tadlock

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Jesus, during this season, it is easy to get excited about the reality of you “living among us.” Yet, after the excitement starts to fade, it is not that easy to take the next step in following you. Would you give me the strength and courage to take the next step today in following you? As we journey together, may I better reflect the daily gift of your presence in my life. Amen.

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Lord, your summons echoes true when you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.
In your company I’ll go where your love and footsteps show.
Thus I’ll move and live and grow in you and you in me.

from “The Summons,” John Bell, 1987

Dale Tadlock

Dale Tadlock is a veteran youth minister who now serves as a Coordinator at Passport Camps. A Mississippi native, Dale now resides in Birmingham, AL, with his wife and two teenage daughters.

Advent Waiting: Wexford Carol - O Come LIttle Children

David Burroughs

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