Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Sunday, December 18, Fourth Sunday of Advent

By Tim Best, Senior Associate Pastor

Salvation at Christmas

Read: Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 NIV

“Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.” (v.3)

What does it mean to be saved? This seems like more of an Easter question, but it is exactly what comes to mind when I read the above Psalm lesson. The questions that typically come to mind one week before Christmas tend to be: “Have I sent all my cards? When do I need to go to the store to get the last items for Christmas dinner? Will there be a fight between those two relatives on Christmas Eve?” The Psalm forces us to consider salvation. The Psalm makes us consider salvation from the perspective of Advent. 

The Psalmist refers to the Lord as a shepherd, an image common throughout Psalms and other Old Testament passages. Jesus later refers to himself as the Good Shepherd. Shepherds, and certainly good ones, are present with the sheep. Not showing up or not providing care, comfort, and food would be neglect. Over the next week I invite you to ask yourself each day “how is Jesus showing up in my life today? How is Jesus at work saving and leading me?” I pray that you will feel God’s loving presence and be able to see all the ways God is at work in your life. God’s salvation is for now as much as it is for after we die. In Jesus our lives are saved from old patterns and damaging behaviors. Let us prepare to welcome our good shepherd, the one who saves us, into our lives. 


Almighty God, In Christ you offer salvation to the whole world. Open our hearts that we may see the ways your salvation is now at work in us. Prepare us for the gift of your salvation by helping us to see your presence in our lives. Amen.

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