Forest Lake Talks

December 5 Advent Devotional

December 5, 2020

“And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.” – Luke 2:16 KJV

One of my favorite Christmas memories is when my son, Cole, was in preschool, and we were setting up our creche. I unwrapped the carefully packed figurines and handed them to Cole to arrange in and around the stable. After handing him the last figurine, I stepped back to admire his handiwork. Though all of us are big animal lovers, I was surprised to see only the animals in the stable with the baby, and all the humans relegated to the outside. I asked, “Cole, don’t you think Mary and Joseph should be in the stable with Jesus?” With a puzzled look on his face at my lack of understanding, he replied, “But Mama, the animals want to see the baby Jesus.” I agreed, “Well then, the animals should see the baby Jesus. It looks really wonderful.” As Cole grew older, he added Mary and Joseph inside the stable with Jesus and the animals who had earned their closeness through their great yearning. As I now set up the creche keeping our family tradition, I still see so clearly the sincerity in a pair of childish eyes reminding me of the importance of wanting to see Jesus.

Just like Cole’s anthropomorphic animals, the shepherds were filled with longing after the angels announced the arrival of the babe in the manager. They did not ask to wait to a more convenient time, complain about the lateness of the hour, or say they were too tired. They too wanted to see Jesus and made haste to worship him.

For many of us, one of our first introductions to Jesus is through the beautiful nativity story. However, if our desire to see Jesus ends with the babe in the manager, we have missed the true gift of his birth. We must also want to see him in his ministry where he teaches us difficult truths about living as his disciples. To have our yearning satisfied, we must follow him to his crucifixion and resurrection through which he brings us into an everlasting relationship with both him and God the father.

Heavenly Father, During this season of Advent, fill us again with the longing to see the miracle of Emmanuel. Help us to carry this hunger throughout the year using it to develop a closer relationship with you that enables us to be your true disciples. Amen

Submitted by: Susan McNair

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