Our Daily Bread: Forwarded
- READ: Luke 2:8-12; 21:25-28 Appended Below
An angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them. Luke 2:9
When our children were young, we observed Advent (the time beginning on the fourth Sunday before Christmas through Christmas Eve) by making a wreath and lighting candles each night after supper. We sang a carol and read a short Bible passage about the birth of Christ. This was a special time of preparing our hearts to celebrate Christmas.
But Advent is more than that. When Christians first started practicing it in the fourth century, they viewed it not only as preparation for celebrating Jesus birth but also as a time of looking forward to His second coming. They found hope and cheer in the sure promise of His return.
The gospel of Luke describes the glory of the Lord� that shone around the shepherds when the angel announced the Savior's birth (2:9). Luke also records Jesus promise that He will return with power and great glory� (21:27). These two events frame the purpose for which the Son of God came into the world.
In Latin advent means a coming. The weeks before Christmas can be a wonderful season of repentance and expectation as we celebrate our Lord's first advent in Bethlehem and anticipate His second advent when He returns in glory. Christ has come! Christ is coming again! David McCasland
The first time Jesus came to earth,
Humble was His story;
But He has promised to return
With power and great glory. Sper
Christ has come! Christ is coming again!
New International Version
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
10 But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is
the Messiah, the Lord.
12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.
25 There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.
26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.
27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.
- READ: Psalm 31:9-15
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body! —Psalm 31:9
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the US on
September 11, 2001. It’s hard to think about that date without mental
images of the destruction, grief, and loss that swept over America and
the world following those tragic events. The loss of thousands of lives
was compounded by the depth of loss felt corporately—a lost sense of
security as a country. The sorrow of loss, personal and corporate, will
always accompany the memory of the events of that day.
Those horrific events are not the only painful memories of September 11. It
also marks the anniversary of my father-in-law’s death. Jim’s loss is
felt deeply within our family and
his circle of friends.
No matter what kind of sorrow we experience, there is only one real
comfort—the mercy of God. David, in his own heartache, cried to his
heavenly Father, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body!” (Ps. 31:9). Only in the mercy of God can we find comfort for our pain and peace for our troubled hearts.
In all losses, we can turn to the true Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who alone can heal our brokenness and grief. —Bill Crowder
We have a Friend
who’ll never leave,
Who’s closer than a brother;
He’s there to meet our deepest needs,
To comfort like no other. —Sper
When God permits suffering, He also provides comfort.