December 21 Advent Devotional
December 21, 2019
Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13, NRSV
12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. 13 And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
Did you catch the last word in today’s reading? Do you consider yourself a saint? I definitely don’t. Just ask my family and coworkers!
However, try thinking about it this way. “Saint” is an Old Testament title for God’s people, so try inserting your name for “all his saints.” Wow!
I also missed the “and for all” in verse 12 the first time I read this passage. Paul makes it clear that we need to connect with our neighbors who may not think like us, look like us, or have the same beliefs as us. This is a daily challenge for all of us, but look at the result: a strengthened heart in holiness.
Prayer: Gracious God, grant us the courage, strength, and compassion to extend a hand to all of our neighbors this holiday season. May the love you show us daily be reflected in our daily actions. We pray this in Christ’s name, Amen.
Submitted by: Ed Black
 Meeks, Wayne, Jouette M. Bassler, Werner E. Lemke, Susan Niditch, and Eileen M Schuller, eds. The Harper Collins Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version. London: Harper Collins, 1989.