2016 Advent Devotional

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Prepare to be Deceived
Saturday, 12/24/2016

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While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles.

Matthew 27:50-51


What is a holy place? Who has access to God? Is God present within all creation or only in specific locations? When Jewish worship practices revolved around the Temple, God’s presence was focused within the Holy of Holies. This was the most holy place. In fact, it was so holy a thick curtain separated this space from the rest of the Temple. It was so holy the only person allowed to enter was the high priest, once a year on Yom Kippur.

The tearing of the curtain, in the gospel according to Matthew, was an indication that people had been deceived about holy places. There was a mistaken impression about God’s presence. But no longer would this be the case, because the curtain has been torn and God’s presence was now accessible to all. Advent prepares us for the God who chooses to dwell among us. Advent prepares us for “God with us.”


Incarnate God, thank you that you desire to dwell with your creation. May you prepare us all for your presence within us and among us.


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


  1. Based on your experience, has God felt present within and among you, or stuck behind a curtain?
  2. How do you understand this idea of incarnation – God with us?

Family Corner

Daily Scripture

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12


Turn the lights out and light a candle.

Talk about how the candle helps us to see in the darkness (but we can only see what’s near the candle) and how it helps to make things visible so that we can find our way.

Jesus came into the world as a baby to be our light!

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Highland Park United Methodist Church
3300 Mockingbird Lane
Dallas, Texas