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The Advent prayer for Thursday, December 15, 2002, comes to us from: Hark the Herald Angels Sing: Daily Prayers for Advent by Stephenie Hovland

6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And she

gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Luke 2:6-7 NRSV



I can imagine how anxious Mary and Joseph must have been as they traveled from Judea to Bethlehem for the census. A very pregnant Mary, preparing herself to give birth, must take the long journey away from the family and friends that would have aided in her birthing process. Joseph has to navigate caring for and protecting his pregnant wife, as they traverse difficult terrain. I am sure they felt the same uneasiness that many parents feel as the time draws near for their child to be born.

To their great dismay, Mary goes into labor while in Bethlehem, away from the comfort and familiarity of Judea. Instead of being surrounded by their family and friends, Mary and Joseph are surrounded by sheep and goats. Yet, the lowly environment for Christ birth serves as a lasting symbol of God’s ability to connect with us in our lowly places. As we edge ever closer to the commemoration of Christ birth, let us be reminded that God embraces us no matter how lowly we may feel.

--Pastor Anthony

Advent Prayer – Day 19

Dear God, when we hear “Mary had a baby!” we still smile and understand the magnitude of that moment. A firstborn baby is truly special, but for that baby to be the Son of God? We are forever thankful! God, help us experience that joy every time we hear the story of Jesus’ birth. Amen.

-Stephenie Hovland

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