Priorities - Advent Devotional @ Walton United Church, Oakville, Ontario

King Herod is typically cast as the evil villain of the nativity and the death sentence he later issues is ruthless and brutal, but his first reaction – in common with many others in the nativity story – is fear. Upon hearing the news of the birth of Jesus, Herod fears losing everything he values – his status, power and authority. He wholeheartedly fixates on these worldly priorities and will stop at nothing to protect them. The inducements the world offers can be tantalising and compelling, and it is understandable to desire them and then to fear losing them, but they are also superficial and fickle, and pale into insignificance compared to the enduring abundance of the love of God.

Loving God, even as I live and work in our materialistic society, help me to see through it and to recognise it for what it is. Bring me to a deeper understanding and appreciation of Your love for each one of us, and to respect Your teaching and values. Amen.

Matt 2: 1-3a, 7-8

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened.

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.”

Thank you for joining us on this prayerful path through Advent.
Blessings and best wishes for 2018.

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