First Thursday in Advent

Now is the time to prepare for the Coming of the Messiah this Advent Season.  Meet us here each day of Advent where we will be posting a blog written by members of First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem,  representing an intergenerational sampling of contributors as they reflect on the scripture selections from the Daily Lectionary Advent readings from the Book of Common Worship. If you would like to download a copy of the First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem Advent Devotional, CLICK HERE.

LECTIONARY READING: Amos 4:6–14; 2 Peter 3:11–18; Matthew 21:33–46

Advent is the perfect time to reread the Christmas story and prepare our hearts and minds for the celebration of the Lord’s birth. We are invited to ponder both the miracle and mystery of this child/man/Savior called Jesus. It reminds us yet again of God’s great love for all humankind.     

Like the angels that reassured Mary and Joseph before Christ was born, so we too are called to wait with trusting patience and hopeful expectation.  As we wait, we are encouraged by Peter’s words to prepare our hearts by leading holy and godly lives and drawing closer to Christ. Christ’s return—his Second Coming—will arrive unexpectedly, like a thief in the night, and we need to be ready.           

Peter also reminds us to guard our hearts from false prophets and their teachings.  It is man’s vulnerable nature that falls prey to Satan’s sinful world.  He urges us to deepen our faith by growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

By striving to grow closer to Jesus every day, we will be better prepared when challenged by the culture and distortions of the Bible’s teachings. Then we can with confidence stand for his truth, guard his word, and share the good news of Advent. 

Prayer: Gracious God, may this child born in Bethlehem, later known as the Light of the world, infuse our hearts and minds with his love and grace, so that we might reflect his image and pass it on. To God be the Glory! Amen.

- Betsy Laylon