Mission Devotional - December 9, 2016

Opening Prayer: Father, soon we will celebrate the birth of your Son. In the days and weeks ahead we will be preparing our homes, buying gifts, and cooking all kinds of food. Help us, in the midst of all of this activity, to be sure and also prepare our hearts. In the busyness of the season ahead, remind us that it is really the coming of your Son that we truly need to prepare for. Help us to do just that. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Scripture: Luke 3:4-6

Journal: How are you preparing the way for Jesus within you and around you these days? What will that look like during this season of Advent?

Reflection: There is much work to be done during this Advent season, but a different kind of work than we might expect. This is the season for preparing the way of (and for) the Lord; to make straight his paths, both within and among us. It is a work of watching and waiting, one of removing obstacles and making space. It is a work that involves staying awake and paying attention; a work requiring a significant amount of solitude, silence, and prayer. It is a work of searching our hearts and cleaning up our inner clutter. It is a work of preparing our souls to receive the King when he finally arrives. Therefore, let us go about our work diligently. Let us make our space and read our Scriptures and offer our prayers, for this work of preparing a soul is not a work of our hands, but a work of our hearts. Therefore, as the lines of the old Christmas song remind us, "Let every heart, prepare him room." For we surely can't control his coming, but we can make the paths straight for it.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Darlene Johnson has been a member of MTW's church-planting team in Nagoya, Japan, since 2000. She teaches conversational English and evangelistic Bible studies and is involved in choral and instrumental music ministry. Pray today for Darlene who is in the U.S. for several months of home leave that this time away from Japan might bring rest and renewal.

Wycliffe Associates (India, Kenya, Nepal) accelerates Bible translation around the world by empowering national translators and equipping the local church to translate God's Word into every language by 2025. Wycliffe Bible Translators (China) has Bible translators located in China translating the Bible into local dialects. Pray today for all of these translators and their work.

Closing Prayer: Lord God, our Heavenly Father, during this season of Advent help us to prepare our hearts for your coming. Come, Lord Jesus! Come and visit your people. We eagerly await your coming. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.