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Advent Devotional: New Year’s Day

Advent Devotional Greenery Messiah Prince of Peace - no text

A Savior, Which Is Christ the Lord

January 1, 2018

Soprano Recitative: And the angel said unto them, fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11

Chorus: Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, good will towards men. Luke 2:14

The shepherds were the very first evangelists of the gospel. They understood that it was not enough simply to visit the manger; they also needed to tell others about the newborn Prince of Peace. We, too, are called to be evangelists. We must do more than admire the shepherds; we must emulate them by sharing the gospel.

The shepherds investigated, they evangelized, and then they glorified God. The story ends with their return: “glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told” (Luke 2:20, NIV).

It is not always easy to give God the glory, or to experience the true joy of the Messiah’s birth. Sometimes we feel the way that John Newton felt when he admitted, “Assuredly this song of the heavenly host is not the language of our hearts by nature.”

Our hearts are cold, and in our sinful nature we do not want to join the chorus. But Newton knew that if we seek eternal life, then the song of the heavenly host must become the language of our hearts. So he gave this warning: “We must not expect to sing with the great company of the redeemed hereafter before the throne of glory, unless we learn and love their song while we are here.”4

Newton was right. We were made to sing with the angels, but we cannot join their song until our hearts are tuned by God’s grace. We must ask God to change us by his Holy Spirit, enabling us to believe in the Prince of Peace as our Messiah. Then we will be able to join the heavenly chorus, singing “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14, NIV).

What stands in the way as you seek to make the song of the heavenly host the language of your heart?

Let Us Pray

If the circumstances of Christ’s birth were altogether common, there was nothing common about his birth announcement God of glory, your splendor shines from a manger in Bethlehem, into the darkness of human night. Open our eyes to Christ’s presence in the shadows of our world, so that we, like the shepherds, may welcome the one for whom there was no room. Amen.

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