Devotion and Prayer for Week of December 16, 2012

Meditation for the Week December 16, 2012

 

On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:  “Fear not, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak.  The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.     –Zephaniah 3:16-17

 

When my children were born, they were loud…but not with what anyone would call singing. Crying, yes.  Screaming, definitely.  But singing?  My newborn children were certainly not singing.

But here we are just days away from Christmas—the annual celebration of Jesus being born into our world—and the prophet Zephaniah talks about the baby Jesus singing?  Zephaniah goes further.  Zephaniah tells you to take heart because the baby is mighty!  Zephaniah tells you that the baby will save you!  Zephaniah tells you that the baby rejoices over you and loves you so much that you will be quieted—you will no longer be weeping or crying.

Can a baby do such things?  We had to be strong for our babies in their weaknesses.  We had to quiet and comfort our babies in their distress.  We rejoice over newborn children, even though they have little idea what’s going on around them.

But the newborn baby Jesus is different.  Jesus—as God—is by his very nature all-powerful and all victorious.  But when God became incarnate and was born of the Virgin Mary, he came to us in all weakness.  He set aside all his power and majesty and allowed himself to come into this world defenseless.  The almighty God set aside all power at his incarnation and also set aside all his power and authority upon his death.  There, the powerful God let his hands grow weak as they were nailed to a cross.  On the cross, your enemies rejoiced as Jesus died.  And there on the cross, as Jesus was in the midst of us, he saved us!

Let not your hands grow weak!  The baby Jesus strengthens them through the forgiveness he gives you.  Fear not!  The baby Jesus fills you with hope and peace and victory!  Shout for joy!  The baby Jesus takes away the judgment against you and cleans away your enemies!  Through Jesus, you need never fear evil again!  You need never fear death again!  You need never fear hell again!  The newborn baby Jesus quiets you with his love, he rejoices over the forgiveness he freely gives you, he saves you!

God is not ashamed of you.  He is not ashamed to be born the way you were born.  He is not ashamed to love you.  He is not ashamed of your weaknesses.  He loves you and gives his life so that you can have life eternal.

 

Our Weekly Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, we implore You to hear our prayers and to lighten the darkness of our hearts by Your gracious visitation; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.