Isaiah 29:9-24; Revelation 21:9-21; Luke 1:26-38
One of the most beautiful scenes of the church is found on Christmas Eve. Most sanctuaries are lovely on their own. Add some red poinsettias and the warm glow of candles held in the hands of worshipers as they sing “Silent Night” and you have something resplendent. It would be a mistake, however, to think this beauty comes from the people. Rather, it is who they are celebrating that makes the church glow.
The Bride of Christ shines as she does only because she reflects his splendor. Robbed of heartfelt wonder, the candlelit sanctuary and all aspects of Christmas become a “sealed book.” Honoring God with ritual, while the heart is far from him, one may see a pretty church but not perceive the holy glory.
As the Spirit fills his Church with the Holy Child, may our hearts, like Mary’s, be filled with bright wonder so that the wife of the Lamb shines with the very glory of God.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give us fresh joy at the birth of your Son on earth. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Mark Ryman, Pastor of Saint John’s Lutheran Church in Asheboro, NC.