Monday, Fourth Week of Advent

As a part of our Advent observances at Grace, we are making use of Concordia Publishing’s Behold the Child materials for worship. Our web devotions through Christmas will be guided by Pastor Kevin Golden’s devotional booklet written in support of the Behold the Child theme (you may purchase a downloadable copy of Pr. Golden’s book by following this link).

Prayer Pointers:

For the most vulnerable in society

For growth in hope

Text: Psalm 146:9

The Church contends for [the vulnerable] because the Lord contends for us! –Pr. Golden

MY SIGN OFF DURING THIS SEASON has referred to “Advent hope.” Hope is one of the “key three” virtues that Paul highlights in his letters; he reminds his readers again and again that, in Christ, we have a sure hope. Like the Psalmist of old who called upon Israel to wait on and hope in the Lord (130:5), Paul calls on us to do the same.

Our ability to hope is a key factor in how we see the vulnerable in our world. When we talk of the poor, the orphaned, the refugee and the sojourner, we typically talk in terms of justice and rights, but our sense of justice rest on our hopes. What we hope for, whether for ourselves or the vulnerable, will determine how we exercise justice, or charity, or any of the other areas of public purpose that we discuss endlessly in this land. Decisions about life finally devolve down to “do we have any hope that things will get better, or be worthwhile, or work out right?”

I encountered a quote a day or two ago that sharply makes the point of how our hopes color and affect what we choose:

A society that believes in nothing can offer no argument even against death. A culture that has lost its faith in life cannot comprehend why it should be endured. —Andrew Coyne

The vulnerable of all stripes cannot long endure in a world that has no hope.

Today, Christians who gather for Evening Prayer will sing this verse from the Great-O-Antiphons (you may recognize it as part of a hymn):

O Dayspring! Splendor of light everlasting:

Come and enlighten those

who sit in darkness

and in the shadow of death.

Christ our Dayspring, our Light that does not fail, our Hope for all time is on the way.

May you live in Advent hope ~ Pr. Dave Brooks

--Quoted materials are from Behold the Child Daily Devotions #12-4563

© 2019 Concordia Publishing House. Used with permission under license 20:12-1.


Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church

824 N. Buchanan Blvd. 

Durham, NC 27701

Miss Mollie's School of Grace Preschool

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824 North Buchanan Blvd, Durham, NC 27701 | 919-682-6030  |

Mission Statement: We are called to Welcome Everyone to Walk the Way of GRACE, and walk in that way in our individual lives, in our shared life in our various communities, in our common life with our neighbors, and even to the world at large as God sends us. The Way of Grace is to: GROW with Jesus, REJOICE in God, ANSWER with hope, CARE for the neighbor, and EMBRACE community.

Vision Statement: God has a plan FOR OUR LIVES, and so we teach how to walk in the path of Jesus Christ; FOR OUR NEIGHBORHOODS, and so we work to build healthy and strong communities; FOR OUR CITY, and so we share life with our neighbors in Walltown, Trinity Park, Duke, and the Triangle; and FOR OUR WORLD, and so we go with Good News.

Core Values: Because God loves us first, we value worship rooted in Scripture and Sacraments, service to all people, and being a welcoming community that loves and forgives one another.