Advent Devotion

O come, Thou Branch of Jesse’s tree,
Free them from Satan’s tyranny
That trust Thy mighty pow’r to save,
And give them vict’ry o’er the grave.
(LSB 357 st. 4)
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Turn again, O God of hosts!
Look down from heaven, and see;
have regard for this vine,
the stock that your right hand planted,
and for the son whom you made strong for yourself.
Psalm 80:14-15

Not Again!
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“Not this again.” These frustratingly familiar words prove our impatience. The favorite parking spot is taken, again; the chicken is overdone, again; the mail gets lost, again. Perhaps we can overlook one error but not a second, let alone a third. How frustrating!
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What about God? If we protest, can’t the Almighty One also? God rightly gets fed up. He graciously leads Israel from slavery into noble freedom, and with what is He received? A cold shoulder.
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However, His discipline is not His complaining but the product of His people’s pride. If Israel doesn’t want Him, then so be it. But Israel, for all her big-headedness, is merely a vine who needs her gardener.
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We’ve all betrayed the Lord. We’ve acted as if we could live without Him. How bold then for us to cry, “Restore us, again!” And how wonderful that God shines upon us once and for all the light of His face in the glory of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6). The Branch has born with patience the wood of the cross. You are delivered.
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His patience is for repentance. Don’t turn back to folly, to a life without Him. The Lord helps you to honor Him and to help others as His redeemed Israel. Attend in this Advent season to the Word by which He comes. He will cause you, His forgiven flower, to flourish with fruit.
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Let us pray: O Root of Jesse, standing as an ensign before the peoples, before whom all kings are mute, to whom the nations will do homage: come quickly to deliver us. Amen.
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(Kyle Richardson, Sem IV)