Saturday, December 7
Hymn: “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”
(ELW, No. 257, st. 3)

It’s easy to lose track of what matters most in the midst of the Advent season. Maybe you are finding this month filled with events and activities unique to the season. It can be a wonderful time of celebration but it can also be overwhelming.

The third verse of our theme hymn speaks about God giving the law in the form of the Ten Commandments. These commandments were a gift to the Israelites so they would know what mattered most to God. This law helped them understand how to honor God in the covenant relationship God was offering to them.

God’s boundaries are a gift that helps us know when we need to say no. We can never live up to the expectations of the law, but through faith–which is also a gift of the Holy Spirit to us–Jesus meets those expectations for us. We are free to live within God’s boundaries and focus on what matters most.

Mighty God, help us to receive the gift of your boundaries this Advent season. We know we can’t do it all; help us to receive your grace and focus on what matters most. 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.