Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Monday, December 21, Morning

By Virginia A. White


Read Philippians 1:3-4

“I Thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy.” (NIV) 

One of my favorite memories is encased in a cold, mid-December when my son, Duncan, who has Down’s Syndrome, was about four years old. All the glitter and glitz of the season adorned our Christmas tree with purchased presents, each one wrapped and beginning to accumulate under our tinsel adorned tree the weeks prior to Christmas. Duncan’s job every morning was to turn on the tree lights in our living room. He loved Christmas! Not one to wait for things, he wanted to open presents as soon as they touched the tree skirt underneath. Every December morning, he would run first to the Christmas tree in hopeful expectation, pick out a present, hold it in curious admiration until one of us walked by and reminded him, “not yet Duncan.”

About four days before Christmas, sleepy eyed, we approached the living room in the early morning hours of darkness to find the light on. Duncan, sitting under the glowing tree, was surrounded by multiple opened presents on all sides. The pure joy on his face was contagious as he raised a recently opened kitchen item not meant for him. Forgiveness swept over us, and our family of four began to laugh and share in his joy, It was decided that Christmas had just come early that year!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all lived with that unbridled joy and anticipation of our Lord and what He has in store for us EACH day! How FULLY we could live in the space that He has created for us! Our LORD has given us the gift of reconciliation despite our sins, past, present and future. His greatest gift of Love by Jesus’ living with us briefly, and then His ultimate sacrifice for us so that we can be seen by our Father as Righteous, is amazing! What forgiveness we should have in our hearts for each other! What joy!

This Christmas and every season, let’s work daily to conduct each of our lives with such joy and love for one another, so all the world can see His Hope in our lives, and perhaps others will want to be a part of His eternal plan of joy too.


Dear Heavenly Father, from the words of your prophet Isaiah, “may gladness and joy overtake us, and our sorrow and sighing flee away.” Amen.

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