DEVOTIONAL: Ch-ch-ch-changes Have you ever watched a “makeover show” like Fixer Upper, Property Brothers, Queer Eye, etc.? These types of shows start with a person or property that is in need of freshening up, so to speak. The episode chronicles the process of change and closes with the big reveal at the end, leaving the audience thinking “Wow, what a change!” Why is it that as a culture, we’re so attracted to the idea of transformation? We make New Year’s resolutions, start fad diets, or embark on a new exercise program. Perhaps at a gut level we are longing for something more out of life, holding the knowledge that we are called to something deeper, something greater. The prophet of the book of Isaiah addressed this longing head on when he was writing to the Hebrew people. They were in a dark place in their history, and certainly in a place where they knew there had to be something better. The prophet foretold of a coming time when darkness would turn into light—transformation on the horizon. The Christmas story is really a story about transformation. The God of the universe transformed into a human infant, opening the way so that our very lives could be transformed by that same God, darkness into light. Take heart this Advent season and rest in the hope that God is still in the business of transformation. CONNECTION QUESTIONS:
Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.
The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.
- Describe a time when you either experienced or witnessed an impactful transformation. Think silly or serious!
- Where are the dark corners in your heart, and how might God be shining a light into your life this Advent season?