December 1, 2023
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Each year, BSUMC compiles a series of devotionals during both the Advent and Lenten seasons. These devotionals are written by members and staff. They are designed to accompany our faith community during these religiously significant times of year. The devotions are sent out via email to all persons in the church who receive the weekly Community News.
If you would like to submit a devotion or meditation to be included in the 2020 BSUMC Lenten Devotional, please use the checklist below. Then, submit your text by completing the form below. If you have any questions, please contact Karen Siefert at email@example.com.
Please include the following in your submission:
– Title with byline
– Bible verse reference (optional)
– Devotional body is 300 words or less
– Short prayer in Italics (optional)
Isaiah 12:2-6; Zephaniah 3:14-20, Luke 3:7-18, Philippians 4:4-7
So I open my Bible to read today’s lectionary and am hit between the eyes with John the Baptist yelling, “You brood of vipers!” I love encountering raw humanity in the Bible because we tend to glamorize Biblical times, to soften the edges because we know the silver lining, because we’ve already decided the parts we believe. And what warmer, fuzzier time than Advent? But today John lobs a word of caution.
Why are you all of a sudden worried about your salvation? Your salvation is tied up with the salvation of the whole community. Have you been doing your part? If you had two coats, did you give one away? If you work with money, are you fair and honest? If you are in service, do you complain or abuse your power? Don’t rest on your Abrahamic laurels! The Messiah is coming!
In the prophetic readings for today, Isaiah and Zephaniah foretell Judah’s deliverance from Assyria and Babylon. The LORD, who will be in their midst on that day, will deliver the community and then teach them to rejoice and worship. In Luke, John the Baptist heralds the birth of Jesus, God here in our midst, who will deliver the Jews—and then Christians—from Roman rule and from death itself. There is no such thing as individual salvation. We are all in the midst of Christ. That is the victory!
So rejoice! Be gentle to everyone. Do not worry about anything, but live your life with prayer and gratitude, knowing that God accepts you as you are—you, not more than, not less than, any other daughter, Jerusalem. This is how we see and accept the miracle of joyful surrender to God in our midst.
After deliverance, we rejoice.
Prayer: Thanks be to God.
Thank you for participating!