12.20 Advent Devotional
Today's Advent Devotional, on Romans 16:25-27, is written by Liz Williams.
Liz is a longtime member of NorthPark Presbyterian and has served the church in numerous capacities including Ruling Elder and Chair of Investments. She is also an active member of the St. Andrews small group and the Children's Ministry Committee.
Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed and through the prophetic writings is made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith – to the only wise God be glory for evermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.
Paul concludes his letter to the Romans with this benediction which touches on the Christmas story, especially as it is foretold in the prophetic writings of the Old Testament.
Benedictions are common endings to most of the epistles. Even today we try to wind up our messages to our Christian friends with words of blessing and encouragement. Think of traditional “good byes,” like “Godspeed” or “Traveling mercies.”
One of our members ends her email messages with “Go with God and have some fun.” At the end of worship Brent says, “May the love of God, the grace of Jesus Christ and the companionship of the Holy Spirit go with you.”
The angels at the first Christmas ended their praise of God with the benediction of “peace on earth and goodwill to men.”
We all need the encouragement, blessing, and hope that benedictions bring to strengthen us for the journey of faith.
Gracious God, help us make our words as well as our deeds inspire hope and offer encouragement to those we meet this day and every day. We ask this in the name of our Savior, the Christ Child Jesus. Amen.