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Advent Devotional: Second Sunday of Advent

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The Desire of All Nations

December 10, 2017

Bass Recitative: Thus saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts: yet once a little while, and I will shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land; and I will shake all nations . . . and the desire of all nations shall come. Haggai 2:6–7

Perhaps the first internationals to come and worship were the Wise Men who came from the east to visit the newborn Prince of Peace. The Wise Men represent the desire of the nations, not so much because they brought Jesus golden treasures, but because they bowed down and worshiped him. When the Wise Men opened their hearts to receive the Messiah as Lord and King, they gave him the greatest gift they could offer—the gift of their adoration.

God’s desire is for you to follow their example. Come to God the way the Wise Men came, laying your heart’s treasure at the Messiah’s feet.

The celebration of Christmas tends to encourage sentimental notions about Jesus. Draped with tinsel and stuffed with sweets, people assume that he has come to spread nothing but good cheer. In fact, the coming of the Messiah has less to do with the “little Lord Jesus” laying “down his sweet head” than it does with the Lord of glory shaking the nations.

For many years God’s people had prayed that Isaiah’s famous prophecy about sound government would come true. Longing for comfort, they begged God to forgive their sins and deliver them from slavery by sending the promised Messiah, the Prince of Peace.

One wonders, however, if they really knew what they were praying for. And if they had known, would they have kept on praying for it? We must be careful what we pray for because often there is something surprising about God’s answers to our prayers. So it is with the Messiah that Micah promised, for when he comes the earth will shake and the fire will burn.

Have any of God’s answers to your prayers come as a surprise?

Let Us Pray

Bright Morning Star, your light has come, and the birth of Jesus has overwhelmed us with joy. Like the Magi of long ago, may we be drawn to you and offer you such gifts as we are able. Amen.

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