Monday of the Fourth Week of Advent

Today’s Reading: Romans 16:25-27

“Now to Him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed…” –  Romans 16:25b-26a

Today, in homes around our nation, there are children looking under beds, into closets, and the dark recesses of unfinished basements. What are they doing? What are they looking for? They are trying to uncover the mystery of what they will find under the Christmas tree in just a few days! But why do they look so intently?

The answer is that while we love mystery, our need to know is even greater. Our Heavenly Father knows us perfectly. He has allowed His people of earlier centuries to experience mystery even as He has led all history to the times when His glory was revealed: in the manger, at the cross, and one final, future time at His Second Advent!

While we wait for that day, let us not forget that the Apostle Paul’s Spirit-inspired letter to the Romans is also God’s Word to you and me. The apostle was entrusted with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he faithfully shared it and preached it. Because the apostles went out to the ends of the earth with the Good News of the Kingdom of God, what was once mystery is no secret today! God took upon Himself our flesh in the birth of Jesus Christ. By His Word and Sacrament, we see the mystery revealed now and forevermore.  Then our response is like that of Johann Sebastian Bach: “S.D.G.” And what does this mean?

                                    “To God Alone the Glory.”

Prayer: All who confess Christ’s holy name, Give God the praise and glory. Let all who know His power proclaim Aloud the wondrous story. Cast every idol from its throne, For God is God, and He alone: To God all praise and glory! Amen (Sing Praise to God, the Highest Good, LSB 819:5).

This devotion was written by Reverend Michael Vokt, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Davenport, IA.

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