Advent Devotional 12/18: No Longer Silent
Updated: Dec 19, 2019
“When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”” (Luke 19:37–40, NIV)
One of the strategies the Evil One uses to oppose Jesus is to silence Jesus’ followers. And yet, Evangelism is central to the mission of the church. It is our main earthly function and Step 7 of our 8 Step Plan. I put it in this position because even though it is primary and should be something we are doing all the time, I want to focus on it after the first 6 steps, because I believe that if we are doing the first 6 steps well, we will be experiencing the glory and power of God in such a way that we won’t be able to help but tell others about it.
That’s what the disciples of Jesus experienced when he approached Jerusalem. They were so excited about Jesus and all that God was doing through him, they were shouting their praise in the streets. The religious leaders were offended by this, probably because claiming Jesus was king could be politically perilous, or in our day, “politically incorrect.” And yet, how could the disciples help themselves? They had seen the dead raised, lepers healed, the lame walk and the blind receive their sight. Jesus in essence said that God was doing such praiseworthy things, praise was mandatory. And if the people were silent, creation would sing.
I don’t know about you but when I get excited about something, I have to tell others about it. Whether it’s a new restaurant I love, a new band I’ve discovered or a great book I’ve read, I feel the need to share my enthusiasm with others. They have to know! They’ll love it too!
Now this doesn’t always work out the way I think. Others could have a completely different opinion about these things, and that’s okay. We don’t all have to like the same things. But this dynamic of sharing our enthusiasm, this is how word gets around about things. This is why social media is so powerful. It is a global delivery system for enthusiasm.
It is time for those of us who have experienced the grace of God to end our silence. We don’t have to have all the answers for people. We just have to be willing to share what we’ve experienced, what we’ve seen, what we’ve heard.
God of wonders, you have truly done great things for us. We acknowledge the ways in which we’ve experienced your transforming power. We pray for fresh experiences of Jesus Christ this coming year. Update our testimonies. Renew our enthusiasm for you and your Kingdom.
Make us fervent in seeking you. And let that excitement spill over into our everyday interactions with other people. Make us bold and unashamed of our faith. Help us to love others enough to tell them about the most important thing in our lives, Jesus Christ and his saving grace. Even for this coming Christmas Sunday, we pray that you would draw people to church who have not been. And when they come, let them experience Christ in a fresh way.
Lord, we ask for an increase in opportunities to share our faith in 2020. Let there be providential meetings and spiritual conversations. Help us to look for those opportunities, and to take them when they arise. Help us to create those opportunities to share our enthusiasm and faith in Jesus Christ.
And as we share, open up the hearts of the people who hear. Give them the grace to encounter Jesus for themselves, and believe in him as we have.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.