December 3, 2021

A Little Child

But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned once more and hardened his heart, he and his officials.
Exodus 9:34
Through Isaiah, we were promised that when the time had been fulfilled and we entered the perfect peace of God, it would be a little child who would lead us. Until it happened, we didn't know which child it might be, whether a child born in a palace or a child born in a hovel; a child born in a great city or a child born in the countryside. But Isaiah's prophecy told us something important: If we were to be led into a new age, it would not be by a powerful man or a wise old sage, but by a little child.
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While it's clear that we often want to be led by
the childish, the leaders we follow are seldom childlike in their humility or their willingness to love and forgive. Add to that the fact that the Child sent by God was a poor Boy, born to a couple of nobodies in the eyes of the world, and it's not too difficult to ascertain the direction God would have us go. We celebrate the birth of the Child. And then we wander off in the opposite direction he would lead us.

In December—especially in December—it is the kindness of God we celebrate. May we not respond by being too proud to humble ourselves at the manger, but by allowing our lives to be transformed by the Christ whose birth in a stable leads us to the God of creation.

Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
 Romans 2:4
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
At his coming, O God, your Son was born in a stable and laid in a manger. Help us who look forward to his birth to humble ourselves before him that we might acknowledge as Lord the little Child would would lead us to you.
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After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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