Comfort

2020 Advent Devotional – Day 16

Comfort

Somewhere a Child Is Sleeping
Words and music by Frank Mills, 1992

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)

Video: Somewhere a Child Is Sleeping


Reflection

There’s a risk when anything becomes too familiar, that it starts to be taken for granted; that in the repetition of a Scripture passage or teaching, we can start to lose the meaning in it.

The Christmas story is not immune to this danger, and the more we hear the angel announcing, “A savior, who is Christ the Lord,” perhaps the less we think about just what is being promised here. The astounding promise of salvation can begin to feel rather abstract and distant; a gift for the world hereafter and not the here and now.

One of the joys of Frank Mills’ soothing lyrics, then, is the way in which they expand the promise of God and remind us of the many dimensions of the good news of Jesus Christ. Listen closely to the words in the middle of the carol and we can hear the Christmas blessing that recognizes the gritty reality of our lives and confronts the coldness of the world.

For we do live in a world of trouble and sadness, and our remembering the birth of Jesus should not gloss over that. Instead, as with the weariness of Joseph and Mary travelling to Bethlehem, God embraces our weariness and offers us rest. As with the hurting and struggling people Jesus fed and taught and healed, God’s love is there to comfort us. And for all of us who don’t know what the next day will bring, God’s love promises us hope.

The good news of Jesus isn’t an esoteric promise waiting for us at the end of our lives. Rather, the good news of Jesus is that our lives right now are transformed by God’s love, witnessed in the life of Jesus, and shared with us through the Holy Spirit. Throughout every cold and dark night we face, God is with us, giving us comfort and peace.


Caring God,
You watch over me with a tender and gentle love, holding me close and offering me peace. When I am weary, your love is there to soothe and sustain me, giving me the endurance to face my sorrow and pain. Renew me with the comfort of your presence in my life. Remind me that you are with me always, walking by my side as I greet the coming day. Amen.


If you’re enjoying the carols each day, there’s now a YouTube playlist you can listen to that contains all the carols shared so far. The playlist will grow as the devotional series progresses, with each day’s carol being added. By Christmas Day, you’ll have the perfect soundtrack of worship and praise.  Click here to listen.


Thank you for joining us on this prayerful path through Advent.
Blessings and best wishes for 2021.


 

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