Monday, December 3, 2012

Advent Family Devotions for Monday, December 3, 2012

The Emperor Trajan Arriving (Adventus)

Opening Prayer:  
Dear Lord, thank You for this day and for coming to us as our King. Amen.

Scripture:  Luke 19.28-40
And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it? ’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it. ’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives— the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

A long time ago Roman rulers would come to cities in their empire.  When the city officials learned the ruler was coming they wouldn't just wait in the city for him to arrive.  They would go outside the city with a crowd of people and meet the ruler as he was approaching. They would then escort the ruler to the city where he would be greeted by more crowds of cheering people.  The Latin name for this event was "adventus."  

In our Scripture lesson today we see that something like that happened to Jesus.  Crowds of people met Him and accompanied Him to the city of Jerusalem.  They cut down palm branches and even threw their coats on the road in front of Him.  They were very happy to see Him.  

But Jesus didn't come like one of those rulers.  He had no army, and He rode no horse.  Jesus came or made His "advent"  in humility. Just as Jesus was came into this world among the farm animals at Bethlehem, so He would approach the end of His earthly life with a farm animal nearby - a donkey.  

Jesus wasn't just another great earthly ruler.  He was God's Son, who lowered Himself to come into our world in order to lift us up to His.

For Discussion
How do we get ready in our homes when special people come to visit?  How can we get ready to celebrate Christmas and Jesus' special visit?  

Closing Prayer:  
Dear Jesus, Thank You for coming to save us. Thank You for being a king like no other. Although You are the highest, You became the lowest for us.  Amen.

Hymn:  In a Little Stable

Click here for the melody.

1. In a little stable
Far across the sea
Was a little Baby
Just like you and me.

2. A bed or cradle,
Not a pillow deep,
But a lowly manger
Was His place to sleep.

3. Shepherds stood around Him,
Angels watched with care,
For this Babe was Jesus,
Lying, smiling there.

4. Oh, I love this Jesus,
Who was little then.
For He surely loves me,
Little though I am.

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