Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Devotion for today: I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem

Today we will focus on the second coming of Christ, even as we prepare to celebrate His first
Scripture passage: Revelation 21: 1-5
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Christ tells us: Matthew 24:30-31, 35
“At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end heaven to the other. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
It is stated in the NIV Disciples Study Bible:
(Commenting on Revelations 21: 1-5) These gentle, tender words set forth God’s nature as Father. He has planned the day when He can be with us personally and remove every reason for tears. That will be a new day. This picture of God stands in sharp contrast to the picture of the sovereign God shown moving in furious wrath in preceding chapters. Both are true pictures of God. God is a gentle, loving Father to those who will accept Him in faith. He is also a mighty Destroyer to those who oppose Him. Remember that God Himself says He prefers to be gracious and merciful rather than harsh (EX 20:4-6). For the deepest word that is said about God is that He is love.
Prayer: Psalm 24:1-6
The Lord’s are the earth and its fullness; the world and those who dwell in it, for He founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. Who can ascend the mountain of the Lord, or who may stand in His holy place; He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean, who desires not what is vain. He shall receive a blessing from the Lord, a reward from God his savior. Such is the race that seeks for Him, that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
My thoughts:  Advent calls us to repentance and prayer, to examine our lives and to take a look at our readiness. People ask us, “Are you ready for Christmas?” We must ask ourselves: are we ready for the coming of Christ? Can we honestly say we have prepared a home for Him in our hearts, a home for the newborn baby? Then we must face the truth. If called tomorrow to leave this world and face God, can we honestly say we would be ready? If the King of Glory comes tomorrow, if the world ends next week, are we ready? It is time to proclaim ourselves as people who seek the face of God, and not a people who hide from it.  By seeking to know God now, we will know Him in a world where there are no more tears or sadness. This is the truth; Jesus said so.  It sounds like a beautiful world to me!
Our prayer to God:  The final steps of preparation for Christ’s coming are to fast and give alms. Why not give up some pleasure which connects us to this world, say TV or computer, and substitute time in prayer, connecting ourselves to the world where we will spend eternity. Then, if we haven’t already done so, let us find a way to share our plenty with those in need, through the gift of our time, or our talent, or our wealth. God bless us, everyone!

Don’t forget the Christmas Novena! Fifteen times today for your special intention!
Christmas Novena
Hail, and blessed be the hour and moment
At which the Son of God was born
Of a most pure Virgin
At a stable at midnight in Bethlehem
In the piercing cold
At that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee,
To hear my prayers and grant my desires
(mention request here). 
Through Jesus Christ and His most Blessed Mother.

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