2016 Advent Devotional

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Day

2

Prepare for the Impossible
Monday, 11/28/2016

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Daily Scripture
Daily Scripture

He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Matthew 14:29-31

Reflection
Reflection

Doubt is a part of our human nature. Peter doubted Jesus when he walked across the water in the same way that Zechariah doubted the angel. And yet, dealing with our doubt is a part of our preparation for Christmas. We must ask ourselves if we are willing to believe the truth of the Christmas story.

Faith, however, is not the absence of doubt. People of faith can still have doubt. In fact, the theologian, Paul Tillich, wrote that the opposite of faith is not doubt but certainty. Certainty is missing the point of faith entirely. Certainty has no need for faith. Faith includes noticing the doubt but choosing to have hope. And Christmas hope is not mere optimism. Christmas hope is defiant hope. Christmas hope sees all the darkness and confesses that the light will not be put out.

Prayer
Prayer

Holy One, thank you for the hope that Christmas brings to me. Help me to acknowledge my doubts, and be gracious to myself for them. Help me, too, to choose faith. In you, all things are possible.

Amen.


How can we be in prayer with you?
Please let us know!

Questions
Questions

  1. How can you choose to have defiant hope?
  2. How do you understand the difference between faith and certainty?

Family Corner

Daily Scripture
Read

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6

Reflection
Do

God’s people had to wait a very long time for the words of the prophet Isaiah to come true!

Give each person a sweet treat, but tell them that they have to hold that treat and not eat it until each family member shares their 3 favorite things about Christmas.

After each person has shared, eat your sweet treats as a family.

Was it hard to wait?

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Highland Park United Methodist Church
3300 Mockingbird Lane
Dallas, Texas
214-521-3111
www.hpumc.org