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Mission Devotional - December 28, 2015

Opening Prayer: Most High, glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart, and give me right faith, certain hope, and perfect charity, wisdom and understanding, Lord, that I may carry out your holy and true command. Amen. - St. Francis of Assisi

Scripture: Matthew 2:13-23

Journal: What do these verses from Matthew do within you? What mourning or sadness or grief is within you during this season? What do you do with that? Where is God in the midst of it?

Reflection: Right in the middle of this joyful season of celebrating the extraordinary gift of God's coming into our dark world, we get this stark reminder of just how dark our world and dire our need is for a Savior. Today is referred to as The Feast of Holy Innocents on the church calendar. It is the time when we remember the slaughter of innocent children by King Herod in his attempt to kill the infant Jesus. Herod was so threatened by the idea of losing his throne to this newborn King that he would go to any length to make sure his power and his position were not taken away from him. It is a vivid reminder to what lengths we fallen humans will go to preserve and defend our self-centered ways once they are threatened. In fact, we do it all the time, just not so obviously or violently. Ours is a much more subtle, covert operation, usually involving words as weapons. (Watch and Wait by Jim Branch)

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Joe and Cindy Platillero proclaim the transforming presence of Jesus Christ through Biblical teaching and practical training to all who come through their doors. Their main ministry is through the Torchbearer Center where they have camps, conferences, and a small Bible School during the winter. Pray for them today as they focus on the local church and the church throughout Europe.

Young Life Europe is an organization that pursues and befriends teenagers to introduce them to Jesus. Jim McNamee is the Western Europe Regional Director and Barbara works on the regional staff. They direct and supervise YL staff in five countries: Belgium, France, Holland, Portugal, and Spain. Working from Madrid, they are responsible for both the national and international school teams in those countries. Pray today for Jim and Barbara and their extended family.

Closing Prayer: O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness and we feel our weakness and helplessness, give us the sense of your presence, your love, and your strength. Help us to have perfect trust in your protecting love and strengthening power, so that nothing may frighten or worry us, for, living close to you, we shall see your hand, your purpose, your will through all things. - St. Ignatius