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“I Am with You”

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Today’s Reflection

“I AM WITH YOU,” God promises Mary through the angel Gabriel. … “I am with you,” God promises Joseph, Mary’s husband-to-be, in a dream. . . .

Promise by promise, the Advent story stretches out, like bands of cloth across a waiting manger. “I am with you,” God promises, through the words of prophets; in the songs of psalmists; from the lips of angels; by a fresh, tiny birth cry in the night.

And intersecting each strand of promise made by God, another promise is placed: from the yes of a girl, by the trust of a man, through the hope of a people, in the flesh of humanity. From the beginning to the end, Jesus Christ embodies God’s promise to the world, for you and for me: “I am with you.”

Behold!

From page 84 of Behold! Cultivating Attentiveness During the Season of Advent by Pamela C. Hawkins. Copyright © 2011 by Pamela C. Hawkins. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How do you see Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s promise? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:7, NRSV

This Week: Pray for those mourning a loved one. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Prepare for Advent

Explore how nativity sets, Advent wreaths, candles, carols, Christmas cards, and other traditions help prepare our hearts for the God “who bends low to enter our world and our lives.” The Living Nativity, a new book and eCourse by Larry Peacock, is available now.

This week we remember: Thomas Merton (December 10).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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In order to continue receiving Upper Room Daily Reflections after January 1, 2019, please confirm your subscription here.

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Jill December 14, 2018, 3:48 am

    Jesus is the perfect fulfillment of God’s promise, God’s plan. Thank You, Father – for Your plan for humanity, to save us from ourselves, to lavish us with Your love. May I do my role well, where You have placed me.
    The sun peaked out yesterday and I took a walk after school, with the leader of the young mom’s group who now lives in my neighborhood. So good to see the sun, as most days are winter gray around these parts.
    Grateful for good conversation with my walking companion. Grateful for manger scenes.
    Donna – praying for you during this season, following the loss of your husband. May you sense Our Father’s presence and care.

  • robert moeller December 14, 2018, 5:15 am

    Thankful that this morning I was able to review several days of reflections and
    thus be more aware of what is going on with the UR family. Your news makes me thankful and provides for prayer. Glad that Lowell saw the orthopedic doctor, when I had a sprain, one of the first things they did was take an x-ray.
    That Gloria’s blood work came back with good news is a blessing. Prayers for Donna after the loss of her husband, May Marcy receive the insurance help she needs. I’m thankful for all that Mary does to help. Prayers for Betsy’s brother, may the new treatment be of great benefit. Hope all goes well with the grand baby (I like that term) on the way. Thankful for Mary’s joy in the classes she takes. Glad she still has tuition students. It’s hard to take the teacher out of a natural teacher. Jill’s Christmas Eves are wonderful.
    Glad Julie was able to go out and have a wonderful meal. Pray there is a resolution to h soon.Not familiar with Syrian or Armenian food, I know what a joy it is to eat foods that are part of your heritage. Had a great Korean meal with my son on Wednesday and many German foods are part of Advent and Christmas.

    My car is fine, the problem is taking Erich to work and going to church come at the same time. Erich needs to go to work. I can and do get to church at other times. Thankfully Christmas Eve and Christmas day church will be possible.

    Anneliese is doing better with PT and PM, had some growths removed with more to be done, no results on the biopsies yet. Progress being made with the transfer to a new health insurance plan and reconnecting to a second pharmacy.

    Enjoy Connie’s brief collage like posts telling of events and Andrea’s winter walk description. Here maples take the place of oaks. They are leafless. I remember oaks from my time north and south of Boston long ago.
    So glad to “catch up”. I feel reconnected.

    Blessings to you all as the day for which we wait approaches.

    • Betsy December 14, 2018, 6:45 am

      Thank you, Robert, for you prayers and concerns for all our UR family.
      Am rereading Isaiah as the Advent season progresses. God’s promise of a Savior is so clear in the early OT. Jesus was promised to us. Emmanuel.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 14, 2018, 7:15 am

    Thank you for all your prayers.

    Father God, we uplift those who are mourning for their loved ones. May you comfort them and surround them with your love.

    Thank you for your assurance that you are always with us no matter what.

    Blessings to all!

  • Connie December 14, 2018, 7:35 am

    I am here. I know my postings are not lengthy, but I really have a simple life. I enjoyed a wonderful visit from my son and everything went so perfectly, thanks be to God. He is so good to me and wishes he could do more for us, as does my daughter-in-law. Today we will be attending a funeral. We can only get to ones in town lately. Thinking of Donna and her recent loss-heartbreaking. A day is not complete when I cannot get to the computer and the UR. Everyone have a good weekend.

  • Julie December 14, 2018, 8:11 am

    I believe Jesus’ birth fulfills God’s promise that He is among and with us. He told us this so often is scipture and then He showed this by becoming human and living among us. He promises that He cares for us and He did good works and miracles while He lived among us. So many aspects of God’s character became flesh and were concretely demonstrated during Jesus’ life on earth.
    Prayers for Jill and for sunshine. Pitssburgh gets its weather from your area so I too enjoyed a little sun yesterday.
    Prayers for Robert, Erich and Anneliese. Good to get caught up with Robert. I do not know about Armenian food but Syrian food is much like Greek food. I grew up with shisk ka babobs and pitas, etc.
    Prayers for Betsy and her brother and the future grandbaby.
    Prayers for Mary and her family and her tuition students and their families.
    Prayers for Connie and her family. Simple lives are what many of us prefer, to live peacefully and embody God’s humble presence and His love for all things even the small and mundane. Jesus loved those who lived simply and held them up as the ones to emulate.
    Prayers for Marcy, Mary and Lucy. My babies are enjoying their heated blanket, as it is cold this morning.
    Prayers for Andrea, Lowell and their family. I concur with Robert, an xray is often the first step in diagnosing a joint issue. May the ankle heal quickly and well.
    Prayers for Donna and may her sorrow move her to seek a support during this time. Walking outside even can provide a refreshing and renewing of the spirit.
    Prayers dear UR family.

  • April December 14, 2018, 11:37 am

    I see the birth of Jesus as the best love of all from our Loving Father, a Father that provides for relationship, blessings, comfort, mercy, forgiveness, second and third chances and on and on….He is always ready to listen and guide, The Lord is my Shephard….through all of life’s days.

    I am so sorry to hear that it took 4 visits to Providers before the correct diagnosis was attained for Lowell. Thankful that you did not give up on seeking an answer, Andrea.
    May all, and especially Donna, who are experiencing a Christmas Season without a special person due to a passing or other reasons be touched by someone that acknowledges these feelings and says I care.
    I repeat the prayers for each that are shared by our UR family, thank you to those who have this gift of sharing with just the right words.
    This year I am not going to say, I am not ready for Christmas….which to me for many years meant presents selected and mailed. I have simplified that part of the Season with a small gift and instead my husband and I have been able to share a large amount of time with our kids and their families from Thanksgiving through New Year, I am in the kitchen baking childhood favorites and sharing the experience of such as well as reading stories and playing games….so far we are all enjoying this change.
    And yes, I am more ready than ever for Christmas with the opportunity to reflect on the perfect gift God could ever give to His World. Thank you, thank you Heavenly Father!!

    • Andrea December 16, 2018, 10:17 pm

      Thank you, April. I don’t know if you will see this email, since it is several days since you commented. May God richly bless you and your family this Christmas season.

  • Marcy December 14, 2018, 8:47 pm

    Hello blessed UR siblings and friends! I have been reading and praying for you all! Many things going on in my life recently; many more blessings as I contemplate during Advent.

    The first thought that came to my mind is that Jesus’ birth further fulfills God’s enormous, all-encompassing, infinite Love for us, as Jesus is the Way, and the Truth and the Light. We would never have had the chance of being saved and seeing the face of God without Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made on that cross. And God’s promise was to have ALL His children with Him in heaven, the new Jerusalem. Thank you, Almighty Father, Jesus Christ our Savior and Holy Spirit, for Loving us, encouraging us to be brave and BELIEVE in You!

    Love to all those who visit this site, who post or just read, old and new and I am praying for those in need. I am praying for all those in mourning and all those who are sick and/or have health issues. Lord, thank You for Your Presence.

    Joyous Praises to our heavenly Father, as He provides Hope, Joy, Peace and Love to the world. Praising God for all those experiencing health, happiness and harmony in their lives!

    And these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE! Sending prayers and Love to all!

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