Advent Devotion for Thursday, December 19

By Rick Darragh

Read Matthew 11:2-10

In the first part of this passage John’s question to Jesus was asking if He was the Messiah, or if there were someone else he should look for.  John was not seeing Jesus’ mission or God’s actions clearly.

Jesus’ response to John was to reiterate what Isaiah foretold in the Old Testament about the ministry of the Messiah: the lame would walk, the blind would see, the sick would be healed, the dead would be made alive and the good news would be preached to the poor.  In the second half of the passage, Jesus points out to his followers that outward appearance is not always an indication of a person’s importance or how God is using them.  Again, it’s a matter of seeing clearly.

We also do not always see clearly what God is doing in our lives.  Many times the people that seem most insignificant, those with special needs, the young, the old, the poor, those who from outward appearance seem to have little to offer, to be of little value, are the very ones God is using to bring us closer to Him.  Like a Christmas package from your grandchild or your son or daughter’s first homemade Christmas gift, the outer wrapping may be not perfect, but the gift inside is special.

I’m reminded also of Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. It wasn’t much to look at, but as Linus said, all it needed was a little love.

During this Advent season, allow God to help you to see past the outer circumstances of our lives and to see clearly those special people He has placed around us.  People with needs to be filled and blessings to be given.  Allow God to help you to see clearly His mission in those He has placed around us.

We pray: Dear heavenly Father: Open my eyes to see clearly Your actions in my life.  Help me to reach out to those people whom You have placed around me, those with cares and needs and blessings to be given.  Please give me eyes of compassion, the same compassion that You had for me when you sent Your Son into this fallen world to bring me back to You.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.