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Advent Devotional: Epiphany of the Lord

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The Gentlest King

January 6, 2018

Soprano Song: He shall feed his flock like a shepherd, and he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. Isaiah 40:11

Soprano Song: Come unto him, all ye that labor, ye that are heavy laden, and he will give you rest. Take his yoke upon you, and learn of him, for he is meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matthew 11:28-29

Chorus: His yoke is easy, and his burden is light. Matthew 11:30

Jesus is the good shepherd who feeds, gathers, protects, and guides his sheep. When he offered to carry our burdens, he was speaking partly about the burden of trying to keep the whole Law of Moses as the way of being saved. But he was not just talking about the law.

Jesus’ invitation is for everyone who is weary, for whatever reason. He invites us to come and be fed. He is able to provide for all our needs and teach us everything we need to know.

Jesus also invites everyone to come and be gathered into God’s flock. Anyone who is on a spiritual search, or is outside the church, or has wandered away from God is invited to come home to God. Whatever our spiritual situation, Jesus is waiting gently to gather us in. He will not reject us.

It is safe to come to Jesus because he is our protector. When we are under stress, when life is difficult, when we come under attack and face hostility or even danger, gentle Jesus will keep us safe. He will also be our guide. If we’re not sure what to do, or if we need direction in life, if we lack wisdom for the future, Jesus will gently lead us where we need to go.

All we need to do is come to Jesus Christ, who is the best of shepherds and the gentlest of kings. Are you sinful and weak? Are you weary and burdened? Jesus says, “Come to me…. for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV).

When the worries of the world are heavy upon you, how do you seek out the Gentle King?

Let Us Pray

God of incarnation, embodied in fragile flesh, you invite all who are weary to come unto you. Teach us to find rest for our souls by turning our burdens over to you, for you are the best of shepherds and the gentlest of kings. Amen.

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