Friday, December 6
Matthew 3:1-12
Sometimes our lives become so cluttered that it is hard to focus on what is important. It can be a real gift to get rid of things we don’t need so the clutter doesn’t define our lives.

Today’s Gospel reading suggests that part of the gift of Jesus is a new experience of the Holy Spirit to declutter our connection with God. John the Baptist tells the established religious leaders that their ancestry will not make them right with God. These religious leaders followed many religious rules and regulations that didn’t bring connection to God but merely cluttered up people’s lives.

There is a different way. By repenting of our sins and placing our faith in Jesus, we can experience the Holy Spirit clearing away those things that keep us from joining God’s work each and every day. This keeps us focused on the things that matter most to God. What a gift!

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we too repent of our sins and ask for your forgiveness. Allow us to experience the presence of the Holy Spirit in a fresh way. Declutter our lives, and help us focus on what matters most to you. Amen.

From O Come, O Come Emmanuel, a publication of Luther Seminary. Used with permission. You may download O Come, O Come Emmanuel via this link. If you subscribe to Luther Seminary’s God Pause, you will receive O Come, O Come, Emmanuel in your email inbox each day of Advent. If you’re not a God Pause subscriber, sign up here and select “God Pause Daily Devotions.” You’ll continue to receive daily God Pause devotions, written by Luther Seminary alumni, after Advent ends.

Writers: Michael Binder ’17, Affiliate Faculty in Congregational Mission and Leadership; Amy Marga, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology. Theological Editor: James L. Boyce ’71, Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Greek. Cover photo by Elizabeth Explores on Unsplash.