Advent Devotional Closing-Monday, December 26, 2022

This Devotional has been a labor of love and has been part of a personal journey of mine toward the celebration of Christ’s birth.  I want to thank each of you for following this journey with me and hope it has blessed your days as you also anticipated the birth of Christ and look forward to his coming again.  God bless each of you as you celebrate Christ’s love with one another.

Rev. Greg Soult, Pastor

Antioch Baptist Church, Sandston, VA

Sunday, December 25, 2022 (Christmas Night)

Zechariah 2:10-13

Christ is here! It is time to celebrate, to worship, to sing, and to reflect. The prophet Zechariah reminds us to sing and rejoice. “For behold, I come, and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord.” God came to dwell in our midst when he sent his Son Jesus to live with and among us. We are not alone; God is with us.

On that day, “many nations shall join themselves to the Lord and shall be my people.” As God breaks into our reality to live among us many people and nations will be drawn to him. Not out of national interest, acknowledging there is one greater and that can bring us together.

When Christ comes to dwell among us, we can truly see that God, the Lord of Hosts, has sent Christ to us. When we consider that the final words of the prophets recorded in the Old Testament to the cries of Jesus the newborn king, Son of God was over four hundred years. There were many generations that came and went through the course of human history. After that period there becomes a collective communal longing for a word from the Lord. God not only provides “a” word, but “the” Word, his Gon Jesus, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Song from the Father full of grace and truth (John 1:14). God is once again choosing to dwell among the people. In this moment I imagine speechless wonder at the appearance of this fullness of God. Reverence in silent give. “Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.” In peaceful silence, cast your gaze upon the Lord. Amen!

Sunday, December 25, 2022 (Christmas Morning)

1 John 4:7-16

Jesus came to show God’s love for us. Making the ultimate sacrifice of love, giving his life so that we could have life eternal and live life differently now. Let love lead.

God Is Love

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us, and his love is perfected in us.

13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

Love is the reason he came, let love be the way we live.