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Mission Devotional - December 13, 2016

Opening Prayer: O God of the new thing, allow yourself to be born anew in me this day and this season. Make a way in my wilderness; for only you can. Amen.

Scripture: Isaiah 43:18-19

Journal: What new thing is God doing in you these days? What former things do you need to forget?

Reflection: The time for the baby is getting closer! The stirrings of new life give hope to the world. The real surprise of Christmas is being able to experience yourself as gift - experiencing yourself as pregnant with new life. We love babies because a baby is a sign of possibility. We look at a new-born baby and think - even if only for a moment - that there is a chance that the human race might make it after all! The baby, who cannot yet speak a word, is the Word of God! It's absurd. Yet there is the deepest of truths here. It's true.
What will you do in the next few days until Christmas Eve? Visit the Crèche - with the gifts of your heart's hunger? Allow Joy to be born in you. Allow yourself to be loved and adored. Come as you are. Accept the gracious work of God to turn us into a family; yes, even a sort of holy family. - Alan Jones

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Bobby and Teresa LaDage are working with Redeemer City to City (the church planting arm of Redeemer Church in NYC) envisioning, equipping, and mentoring church planters and their wives in order to see gospel-centered churches reach the major cities of Eastern and Central Europe. Recently they have also been asked to become European Regional Leaders for United World Mission. Pray today for Bobby and Teresa as they learn to balance both of these roles. Pray also for the emerging church in Moscow where the LaDages recently worshiped with 800 twenty and thirty-somethings.

Young Life Tennessee seeks to pursue and befriend lost or disinterested teenagers to introduce them to Jesus, share the gospel, and help them grow in their faith. Pray today for the students of Young Life Knoxville as they wrap up the fall semester.

Closing Prayer:
Holy preparation,
counterweight of surprise,
plum line of hospitality;
you are fresh hay quickly strewn,
soft linen bands newly torn,
to hold the One who is to come.
O Preparation, catcher of the off guard,
leveler of all things high and low;
you are the smoother of rough edges
and bearer of good news.
Come, reveal our webs of apathy
with holy, sweeping light.
Amen. (Behold! By Pamela C. Hawkins)