Devotion 2 – First Sunday of Advent (Evening)

Opening Prayer

Lord Jesus, give us grace to hear the waking voice of Your Word!

Text: Romans 13:11-14

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

Devotion

It is the hour when we shall arise from sleep. The Sun of Righteousness is risen upon us. Christ has come to us with life out of death. No one shall be able to say: “I must still lie down, still sleep. The night broods over us. The darkness does not let me arise.” No, the glorious day of grace has come. The appointed year of liberty is here (Lev 25). Christ wakes us and lets the light of His countenance shine into our eyes. In the Word of the Gospel He is in the midst of us, lying in the manger and hanging on the cross. Eternal mercy, justice, and life come from Him. In our Baptism He is present just as He was baptized in the Jordan and fulfilled all righteousness. He dies for us, rises for us, and lives for us. In the Holy Supper I receive Him. He who is the Resurrection and the Life abides in me and I in Him. O Christians, will you sleep and make this glorious day of life into a horrible night of death? May it never be!

But here is even more that should wake us: Our salvation is nearer now than when we became believers. Hours pass by, and we are soon at the end. Now Christ comes in His Church’s Means of Grace, but soon He shall come in the clouds in the glory of His Father. How then will you stand before Him, sleepy Christians? So wake up now, and stay awake! Let the new Church Year become a new life. Cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light. Armor! For that means war. Enter into Jesus’ holiness and love, into His bright and pure presence! May your heart be totally and completely His! No lukewarmness and sluggishness! Self-denial and vigilance, as long as the battle endures! Faithfulness to the end! Look forward to the crown of life, and victory through Him who loved us!

Closing Prayer

Wake us, faithful Lord Jesus. Wake those who are spiritually dead, that they may repent. Lord, wake them that they may not dream themselves into eternal death. Wake Your faithful people, and give us zeal, courage, and hopefulness in the battle. Let our holiness increase and our progress be apparent in all things. Give us faithfulness to the end, and give us the crown of life. Amen.

(Pray in your own words. Lord’s Prayer. Benediction. Do this every day.)

Hymn

Awake, thou that sleepest,
Arise from death’s slumber!
Christ on thee shall shine;
The daylight, now glowing
In rays without number,
Shows mercy divine;
Repose now no longer,
Lest night’s dark and danger
Soon come o’er thy soul.
Awake now, arise, and be whole!

In earth’s vale of sorrows
The cold mists enshroud thee,
And tears often flow;
And suff’ring and grief seem
The portion allowed thee
In this life below;
Yet, hear the glad message,
That rescue doth presage,
And pardon and peace
Through Him who doth bring thee release.

Landstad: Awake, thou that sleepest L 103:1.4 LHy 159:1-2 tr. O. G. Belsheim;
tune: Vaagn op, du, som sover (LHy 159); alternate hymn: O that the Lord would guide my ways ELH 441

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