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7:14 I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, 15 but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you.

– 2 Samuel 7:14-15


Despite all the warnings and observations of God’s people going astray and God reminding them of His goodness and their disobedience, and His promise of punishment, there is still His grace and mercy. In His conversation with David, the Lord speaks clearly of his actions regarding sinful behaviour that is unrepentant, but even more so he promises that His “steadfast love will not depart from him.” Each of us are weak, frail, sinful beings whose hearts are prone to wander (“Come Thou Fount”), to walk the path of the desert when our Lord calls us to the garden with Him. Because we are incapable of redemption by our own efforts of any sort from our sin, Jesus did for us all what we cannot do for ourselves, became sin for us, giving us His life and Spirit that we might know grace and salvation by faith. The blessing of Advent is that it prepares the path to Christmas Day in that this season calls us to wait and to remember, probably one of the most important words in our language, especially in relation to God and His love. And so, remember, reflect, repent and be grateful — know yourself for who you are, a sinner, redeemed by the precious blood and love of the one who created you and gives you all that you are and have.

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, thank You for Your mercy. Teach me to be merciful as well. Amen.

Advent Action: Look about you and see the goodness of God!

 

Devotion written by the Rev. Phillip Gagnon

Watch a video recording of the devotional daily: facebook.com/thenalc

Genesis 1:1 (Listen)

The Creation of the World

1:1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

Morning Psalms

Evening Psalms

This daily prayer and Bible reading guide, Devoted to Prayer (based on Acts 2:42), was conceived and prepared by the Rev. Andrew S. Ames Fuller, director of communications for the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). After a challenging year in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been provided with a unique opportunity to revitalize the ancient practice of daily prayer and Scripture reading in our homes. While the Reading the Word of God three-year lectionary provided a much-needed and refreshing calendar for our congregations to engage in Scripture reading, this calendar includes a missing component of daily devotion: prayer. This guide is to provide the average layperson and pastor with the simple tools for sorting through the busyness of their lives and reclaiming an act of daily discipleship with their Lord. The daily readings follow the Lutheran Book of Worship two-year daily lectionary, which reflect the church calendar closely. The commemorations are adapted from Philip H. Pfatteicher’s New Book of Festivals and Commemorations, a proposed common calendar of the saints that builds from the Lutheran Book of Worship, but includes saints from many of those churches in ecumenical conversation with the NALC. The introductory portion is adapted from Christ Church (Plano)’s Pray Daily. Our hope is that this calendar and guide will provide new life for congregations learning and re-learning to pray in the midst of a difficult and changing world.

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