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Mission Devotional - December 19, 2016

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ,
Thou Son of the Most High, Prince of Peace, be born into our world. Wherever there is war in this world, wherever there is pain, wherever there is loneliness, wherever there is no hope, come, thou long-expected one, with healing in thy wings.

Holy Child, whom the shepherds and the kings and the dumb beasts adored, be born again. Wherever there is boredom, wherever there is fear of failure, wherever there is temptation too strong to resist, wherever there is bitterness of heart, come, thou blessed one, with healing in thy wings.

Saviour, be born in each of us who raises his face to thy face, not knowing fully who he is or who thou art, knowing only that thy love is beyond his knowing and that no other has the power to make him whole. Come, Lord Jesus, to each who longs for thee even though he has forgotten thy name. Come quickly. Amen. (The Hungering Dark by Frederick Buechner)

Scripture: Luke 1:26-38

Journal: What is God growing within you these days as a result? How will you carry what God has conceived in you until the time it is to be born into the world?

Reflection: We can only dimly realize how glorious and how sweetly beautiful a temple of God Mary has been as she cradled God within her. What can we say to describe the temple into which each of us will welcome him on Christmas Day? We have seen many Advents come and go, laden for the most part, with broken resolutions and unfulfilled promises. Year after year we have longed for Christmas and the Christ Child's presence in the crib. More especially, we have yearned daily for His advent into our hearts. But yearnings and longings are futile unless they spur us on to action.

If we truly desire a royal visit, we prepare a fitting reception for the expected guest. So should it be with our desire to have Christ the King, the center of all hearts, come and dwell with us. What preparation do we make for such a royal friend? Is our heart like Mary's - a lovely tabernacle fashioned from our earliest childhood and richly embellished over the years? What have we done to beautify it in the past? More pertinent still, what have we done this past year? What has been our life of service, our life of prayer and sacrifice? Can we rejoice in them as we eagerly expect Jesus to come, to be reborn, as it were in our souls? Are our hearts truly hungry for Him? If so, how shall we appease that hunger? - Mother Mary Joseph Rogers, MM

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

J. and C. are working in a Creative Access country for World Outreach. J. is developing an entry platform using sustainable technologies that will provide income and economic development among the people they are ministering to. Pray today for wisdom as they look critically at the pace and scale of the project for the rest of this year.

Bethany Christian Services is a global organization caring for orphans and vulnerable children on five continents. They manifest the love and compassion of Jesus Christ by protecting and enhancing the lives of children and families through quality social services such as adoption, family support, foster care, pregnancy counseling, refuge services and infertility. Pray today for the staff as they work with families to facilitate adoptions.

Closing Prayer: Lord, thank you for what you are doing within us during this time and this season. May we take great care to nurture and attend to whatever it is that you are growing in us. For your glory. Amen.