Monday of the Week of Advent I
…And how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. — I Thessalonians 1:1-10
Paul writes today full of gratitude for the faith, love and hope he has witnessed in the Church at Thessalonica. He speaks of them in glowing terms, as we all want to give thanks for brothers and sisters who testify to Christ’s presence in their lives. And yet, it was all because they had “turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven…”
There was a time when Christians gathered for worship prayed for unbelievers and believers in idols, asking God to turn their hearts that they might be saved. Parents and grandparents prayed for their errant children and grandchildren, hoping that the Holy Spirit would bring them back to serve the living and true God. But then, it fell out of fashion in some ways, as it seemed impolite to pray for someone’s salvation. Or maybe some bought into the silliness that “all will finally be saved anyway, so what does it matter?”.
It does matter, doesn’t it? It matters that children and young people serve the living and true God, whose Son came from heaven to die and be raised, to deliver us from our sins. It matters that those who believe in false idols turn from them to worship the living and true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It matters that Christians share the good news of Jesus with those who don’t yet believe in Him, that they may come to faith and have hope and joy. People in our world need to turn to the Prince of Peace, so that forgiveness, love and mercy may one day rule hearts and minds, that there will be an end to terrorism, violence and hatred.
Prayer: Almighty God, turn the hearts of all in our world to you, to serve the living and true God, in Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Advent Action: Call or send a note to a child, any child, and mention the “reason for the season”—the birth of Jesus!
The 2016 Advent Devotional, based on Year I of the LBW and written by Pastor David Wendel, is available for download/printing in two formats and as a daily text/email message.