Advent Devotional- December 19

December 19                              Saturday                                       Looking

Then Herod secretly called for the wise men…saying, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word, that I may also go and pay him homage[ [Matthew 2:8]. Actually, Herod was frightened that his ruling reign would be over and he wanted to destroy this baby as it was prophesized that “a ruler shall come from Bethlehem who is to shepherd my people Israel.”

 

As a child I often wondered just how I could find Jesus; where would I look. I had never seen him, nor had any of my friends. At home and at church we were taught that he’s everywhere, but where is everywhere I would ask my parents? During Wednesday night prayer meetings, people would testify how they met Jesus and such stories as “Jesus told me…. or, “I was down on my knees when I found Jesus….” Well, what did they do with him; I never saw him.

 

My mother had a very beautiful white flowering plant called Christ in the Manger, which only bloomed every seven years, usually right at Christmas. Inside its funnel type petal seemingly there was an occupied tiny manger. (A recent Google search revealed the existence of Cereus, a flowering plant also known as Christ in the Manger). Looking intently into the petal and straining our eyes, you couldn’t tell us [kids] that we didn’t see the baby Jesus lying in the Manger. Of course our parents knew better; but did not want to destroy the joy. They prayed that one day I would really come to know Jesus.

 

The baby Jesus grew up; going around doing good and preaching to the people. When Jesus became tired of speaking to large crowds by the Sea of Galilee, he escaped to the other side, but the relentless crowds chased after him. “This is indeed the prophet who has come into the world,” they proclaimed….John 6:14. When Jesus realized they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he then went to the mountain alone. And they found him, because in their minds, since he was a king who could heal the sick and raise the dead, certainly he would grant them anything they wanted, such as a roof over their heads, new clothes on their backs, money in the bank…they were looking for security…and were chasing him for all the wrong reasons.

 

In your quest for Jesus, know that first and last he has always been with you—right in your heart. In him you won’t find everything neatly packaged; there will be some tough demands. Of paramount importance, however, is when you believe, and believe in him, you have won the race, and your ultimate reward is eternal life.

 

Prayer: Father, in the wilderness of the Jordan you sent a messenger to prepare people’s hearts for the coming of your son. Help us to hear his words and repent of our sins, so that we may clearly see the way to walk, the truth to speak and the life to live for our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Harold Ritchie

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