Advent devotion – December 2, 2009

Scripture: Amos 3:12–4:5

It is easy to get caught up in the spirit of things as we enter Advent. We are called to wait upon the coming of the Lord, and yet we are expected to participate in the merriment and materialism of our culture. Even for peacemakers it can be easy to forgo the waiting and embrace the onslaught of preparing for Christmas, often missing that which God would have us see.

We look at the prophet’s words and see God bringing justice upon a people “who oppress the poor, who crush the needy” (Amos 4:1). God even rejects their worship, to the point of mocking it. Today is the United Nations’ International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, a day on which we remember that some 27 million children of God are currently held in slavery. As we look around our world and see the effects of human trafficking and so many other horrors, it can be tempting to give up our efforts and focus on our own comforts as we approach Christmas, ignoring our sisters and brothers who suffer.

And yet there is still hope in the One who is coming. May we embrace this hope, our Messiah, and may we continue to work with God to bring freedom to all who are oppressed.


God of wondrous love, give us pause to remember those who are exploited. Help us bring comfort and justice to the people for whom you care deeply. Help us to participate in your great and transforming love as we prepare for you. Amen.

Elder Jon Phillips, first-year student at
McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, Illinois

Order Proclaiming the Good News of God's Peace.

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