Advent Tree Family Devotions – December 11

Eight Pointed Star

Genesis 7, 8; I Peter 3:18‑22

“Nuclear holocaust”, “Global Warming”, “Overpopulation”, “Pandemic Flu”, and a host of other predictions of calamity fill the news in the 21st century.  This is nothing new…newspapers of earlier centuries; pamphlets before that and stories earlier still have contained the same thing.  Bad news (or even predictions) sells.  It is easy, and encouraged in modern culture, to believe that the fate of God’s creation lies at the whim and power of man.  It does not…Our Lord still reigns.

The greatest catastrophe in human history was neither the 1945 nuclear explosion in Hiroshima nor the 2005 tsunami in Indonesia.  It wasn’t the Black Death in 1350, and also not the Influenza Pandemic of 1918.  Rather, the most horrible disaster of man occurred thousands of years earlier, before 4,000 B.C., when the entire world was drowned in a flood.  Millions were killed; only eight survived. 

The Bible tells us that God saw the evil on earth, and it was great.  He decided to destroy the world with a flood, but to continue the line of man through one man, Noah, and his family, the only people who continued in righteousness.  The number eight is historically symbolic of rebirth, and the eight pointed star reminds us that though evil results in destruction, those who remain true to God will ultimately be reborn, and enjoy a great reward. 

God is just, but He is also merciful.  No sooner did Adam and Eve sin in Eden than He foretold the coming Savior (Gen 3:15).  No sooner did Peter deny Christ than Jesus restored fellowship with him after the Resurrection (John 21:15-22).  Springtime and butterflies are great examples of rebirth, but some of the greatest are the rebirth of marriages after discord, the reconciliation of parents and children after estrangement, and the restoration of a man to God after a time of falling away. The ultimate example of rebirth is the Resurrection of Christ, an event all who believe in Him will share. 

Stars are some of God’s greatest symbols.  They are visible every night throughout the world and are dazzlingly beautiful.  Each one is also an independent sun, providing light and heat to many galaxies.  The glitter and power of a star, combined with eight, the number of rebirth, is a striking reminder of the authority of God to effect the rebirth of His people in every way, now and in eternity.

This Advent season, consider the areas in your life which need to be reborn… perhaps a career dream, a relationship with a friend, child or spouse, or a recommitment to God.  Then decide to make that rebirth happen, search the Scriptures for the many examples of rebirth noted there, petition the Lord for His help, and then do what He tells you, with joy.  

Angels We Have Heard on High

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
Say what may the tidings be
Which inspire your heav’nly song?

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Come to Bethlehem and see
Christ Whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

See within a manger laid,
Jesus, Lord of heav’n and earth!
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
With us sing our Savior’s birth.
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Enjoy a light-hearted Christian Christmas romance, A Cup of Crisp at Christmas.

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