Mission Devotional - December 27, 2016

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are truly God's indescribable gift. May we, in turn, give you the gift of our very lives, in response to your extravagant love and affection. Amen.

Scripture: Matthew 2:10-11

Journal: How will you open your treasures to him today? What will you give to Jesus?

Reflection:
O Thou who always art all everywhere
Art now confined in this small space, defined
By skin and muscle, skeleton; you wear
A baby's face - eyes, cheeks, chin, lips like wine
Or blood. Beneath your tiny breastbone beats
Within your newborn flesh a human heart:
In Thou, O Son, the heart of humans meets
God's heart and beats anew. And though in part
I see and I know, I yet see face to face
Because you cloister in this skin, this straw
Strewn crib, this cattle stall, this place
Particular, grim, but glimmering now
With Thou, O Thou, dear bound unbounded All,
Thou tabernacling fleshed Emmanuel.
- Kimberlee Conway Ireton

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

M. is living in an area in Asia working with an unreached people group. She is trusting that God will open doors for the gospel and empower local brothers and sisters to make disciples among them. Pray today for God's help in raising up local leaders with the vision of initiating a movement of rapidly reproducing local churches and that many TL people will enter into the family and be changed forever by God's redeeming love.

Cedar Springs partners with Redeemer City to City to plant churches in urban areas around the world. Pray for all of the church planters that are supported throughout the world, especially in Europe during these challenging days of unrest and the arrival of refugees from the Middle East.

Closing Prayer: In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan, earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone; snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow, in the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold him, nor earth sustain; heaven and earth shall flee away when he comes to reign. In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed, the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there, cherubim and seraphim thronged the air; but his mother only, in her maiden bliss, worshiped the beloved with a kiss.

O what can I give him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; if I were a Wise Man, I would do my part; yet what I can I give him: I will give my heart. (In the Bleak Midwinter by Christina Rossetti)