Daily Devotion 17 December 2020

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.

Matthew 11: 2-6 ‘John Just Checking…’

2 When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ 4 Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. 6 And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.’

It may have been the disciples of John the Baptist who needed to know if Jesus was their promised Messiah, the Saviour they had waited for so long, but their question is one we all wrestle with throughout our lives as we seek reassurance that this man from Galilee is God’s gift to mankind.

We wonder, in the vastness and complexity of our universe, how a child born to an insignificant family in a middle eastern village could ever save the world. We despair at times with a God who seemingly permits so much suffering in the world, and we long for the certainty that life has meaning and purpose.

Jesus’ answer to those disciples was to look around at the effect of his coming – the blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cured, the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up. If we have difficulty making sense of this man with miraculous powers, maybe his Sermon on the Mount, the teachings of which have stood the test of time, speak powerfully to us.

Perhaps we have been moved by Christian love expressed in those around us, or experienced a personal encounter with Christ.

Choosing to be a follower of Christ is a lifelong journey of trust in a man who gave his life so that we might know and experience life in all its fullness and have confidence in the life to come. As we wander around town there may be little to indicate the real significance of Christmas, but within our homes and at our church we confidently affirm that God is with us, and that is the best gift of all.

No ear may hear his coming,
but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive him,
still the dear Christ enters in.
from ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ by Phillips Brooks (1835-1893)

Prayer:

Loving Lord, continue to drive us to deepen our trust and faith in you.
We dedicate ourselves to follow you, whatever the challenges.
Help us to bring hope and joy to others this Christmas. Amen.

Reflection & Prayer © 2020 Roger McAvoy.
Image freely available online.
Hymn words no longer in copyright.
A printable version of this Daily Devotional can be downloaded from here

All material within this order of worship is reproduced by permission under CCL 1226356