Use this devo as you are able, in whole or in part. Don’t feel compelled to read it all. Simply read and meditate upon whatever catches your attention. The goal is enjoying time with God through His Word and in prayer. Questions about the devotional elements?
Call to Prayer
The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. (Isaiah 11:6)
Prayer of Confession
Confession is formative. It trains us to recognize the ways our hearts have become de-formed and how Christ is at work bringing redemption in our lives. Pray with this in mind.
Lord God, as we prepare our house for the coming Christmas season, we would also prepare our hearts for the returning Christ. You came once for your people, O Lord, and you will come for us again.
Though there was no room at the inn to receive you upon your first arrival, We would prepare you room here in our hearts and here in our home, Lord Christ. Amen.
Take a moment to confess your sins, knowing that he hears you.
Advent Reading Plan
During Advent this year we are using the He Reads Truth and She Reads Truth Advent Devos. Readings in this plan will cover the whole of Scripture and directly point us to Christ. We will resume our OPC|M Daily Reading Plan on December 26.
This section of the Devo focuses on the passage(s) for Sunday’s sermon. Go ahead and read the following passage(s) and use theParables Reading Plan + Study Guide to journal what stands out and what you have questions about in the passages. Below is a helpful commentary that can help to fill in the gaps.
Read: Luke 19
Luke 19 begins with a familiar story for many and one which fits Luke’s particular interest in showing how God’s kingdom brings healing and hope to those you’d least expect.
This time it’s about a tax collector named Zacchaeus who climbs a tree.A sycamore to be exact. A fun fact before we move on. Did you know that middle eastern sycamore can grow over 100 feet tall with a considerable canopy? It’s probably worth a Google.
Let this inform your imagination as the scene unfolds. The crowd presses in around Jesus making it impossible for this hobbit-of-a man to catch more than a glimpse of Jesus. Can you picture him up there?Perhaps he’s perched on one of the sweeping limbs?
Wherever he is situated, Luke makes clear for us that he’s visible to Jesus, and this self-confessed sinful man (remember Peter’s first encounter with Jesus?) gets far more than a better view of Jesus. Zacchaeus gets Christ himself breaking bread and drinking wine at his table. Unlike the rich ruler in the previous chapter, there is no question in Zacchaeus’ mind about what he must do. Salvation, Jesus says, comes to Zacchaeus’ house because wayward Sons of Abraham are sought out and saved like lost sheep by Jesus the true and better Son of Abraham.
Our parable fits neatly between this story and Jesus’ tear-filled entry into Jerusalem, and we will unfold the significance of this placement over the next few days. But let’s stop for a moment in that olive grove on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Have you ever noticed that what we call it the “Triumphal Entry” concludes with Jesus entering the city which will turn on him still wiping tears from his eyes?What’s more is that he doesn’t weep for himself. No, his tears are for those who will not recognize that God himself, who they worship inside those temple walls, was visiting them in person. It’s the most tragic of ironies.
They will kill the God all of Israel had come to worship at Passover.He would become their Passover Lamb, taking the sins of His people upon Himself, and leaving them buried that resurrection morning.
Evening Prayer of Examen
Where did you move with or feel close to Jesus today?
Where did you resist or feel far from Jesus today?
Where is Jesus leading you tomorrow? Ask for joy as you follow him.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)