Mission Devotional - December 22, 2015

Opening Prayer: O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel, that mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel, shall come to thee, O Israel.

Scripture: Isaiah 64:1-8

Journal: What does this passage do within you today? Where does it bring you to life? Where does it disrupt or challenge you? What are you longing for God to rend the heavens and come down into?

Reflection: Venite! O Come! It is the deepest cry of our hearts, and the constant cry of the Advent season. After all, we have watched and waited for so long. Not as long as Israel mind you, but, nevertheless, we have waited. We have waited for what has seemed to us to be an eternity. We have waited so long for that prayer to be answered, or that pain to be relieved, or that prodigal to return, or relationship to be healed, or that longing to be fulfilled. And so we cry, with all of humanity throughout the ages, Venite! O Come! Come, Lord Jesus, into our darkness. Come, Lord Jesus, into our sadness. Come, Lord Jesus, into our bondage. Come, Lord Jesus, into our brokenness. Come, Lord Jesus, into our chaos. O God, please rend the heavens and Come! Venite!

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Pete and Ruth Mitchell are church planters in Marseille under the auspices of Mission to the World (MTW) and in collaboration with the Eglise Réformée Evangélique de France (French Reformed Evangelical Church). Pete's role is that of team leader. The Mitchells have recently moved to Toulouse to plant a new church. Pete recently presented plans for the church plant in West Toulouse to the National Evangelism Committee of the French denomination UNEPREF. Pray for their efforts to establish a core group needed for the new church plant.

Thrive Lonsdale is led by CSPC member Clayton Wood. This organization challenges inner-city youth with the love of Jesus Christ to serve others and reconcile by creatively meeting their spiritual, educational, and recreational needs through Bible study, tutoring, mentoring and outings. Pray today for the students impacted by this ministry during the Christmas season.

Closing Prayer: Oh, that you would rip open the heavens and descend, make the mountains shudder at your presence - As when a forest catches fire, as when fire makes a pot to boil - To shock your enemies into facing you, make the nations shake in their boots! You did terrible things we never expected, descended and made the mountains shudder at your presence. Since before time began no one has ever imagined, no ear heard, no eye seen, a God like you who works for those who wait for him. You meet those who happily do what is right, who keep a good memory of the way you work. But how angry you've been with us! We've sinned and kept at it so long! Is there any hope for us? Can we be saved? We're all sin-infected, sin-contaminated. Our best efforts are grease-stained rags. We dry up like autumn leaves - sin-dried, we're blown off by the wind. No one prays to you or makes the effort to reach out to you because you've turned away from us, left us to stew in our sins.

Still, God, you are our Father. We're the clay and you're our potter: All of us are what you made us. Don't be too angry with us, O God. Don't keep a permanent account of wrongdoing. Keep in mind, please, we are your people - all of us. (Isaiah 64:1-8, The Message)