Fling Wide the Door – Advent Devotion – Thursday, December 8

Fling Wide the Door – Advent Devotion – Thursday, December 8

Matthew 11:2-11

“I’m bored,” my daughters declared from the back seat, only an hour into a long day’s drive to our vacation destination. They had burned through the best of my pre-planned activities, and it was hard not to sympathize, knowing all too well the struggle with the suffering of boredom.

I myself had packed three books, a crochet project, two movies on my phone, and car snacks. The “not- quite-there-yet” state of waiting was painful for me too.

I realized that all the entertainment—the study, the work, the consumption in the face of boredom— was an escape from the time and space to reflect on the things I’d avoided and to feel regret for the things I’d done. The agony of waiting, I discovered, was not the waiting itself, but what was waiting there for me—the “not-quite-there-yet” reminder of our sinful world and my sinful self.

Dear God, be with us in the painful journey of anticipation as we arrive at your daily promise of reconciliation, trusting in the life and forgiveness already offered in your son, Jesus Christ. In your patience and comfort we pray. Amen.

Matthew 11:2-11

When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[a] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written:

“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way before you.’[b]

11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Devotion Reproduced from 2022 Advent Devotional | Luther Seminary | Fling Wide the Door 

Contributing Writers
Dawn Alitz ’09 Ph.D.
Director of Coaching and Events
Amy Marga
Professor of Systematic Theology
Jessi LeClear Vachta ’14 M.A.
Director of Enrollment Services

Theological Editor
James L. Boyce ’71 M.Div.
Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Greek 

Editorial Coordinator
Bethany Riethmeier
Donor Engagement Coordinator

Luther Seminary
2481 Como Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
651-641-3456
luthersem.edu
 

You can download the God Pause – Advent Devotional 2022—”Fling Wide the Door” in it’s entirety here: 

https://sttimothylutheran.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Luther-Seminary-Advent-Devotional-Fling-Wide.pdf

Subscribe directly to God Pause Devotional by clicking on the button below. 

Fling Wide the Door – Advent Devotion – Wednesday, December 7

Fling Wide the Door – Advent Devotion – Wednesday, December 7

James 5:7-10 – Patience in Suffering

In the late winter several years ago, my husband, impatient with the cold and desiring to garden, began growing seedlings under UV lights in our basement. Hidden from view and unbeknownst to others, he doted on those plants with scientific precision, trimming and watering those infant greens with tender care.

While restless for the moment he could bring those small vines out into the spring warmth, he knew they needed to first prepare for the outside elements— water, light, and wind. He’d take a small fan, and with alarming speed its blades would beat those tiny leaves with air, strengthening the stems of the seedlings in preparation for the season’s storms.

When those small vegetables were finally received in the soil, they were ready in the way only a well-cared for plant could be, their roots gripping powerfully to the earth and their leaves reaching high to the sun.

Holy Spirit, it can be easy to welcome a child with love and open arms. We know that Jesus walked on this earth to promise and give so much more than a holiday with gifts. As we open our own doors and gates this season, may our eyes be wide open to the fullness of what Jesus promises and to whom—giving us a vision of the fullness of life. Amen.

James 5:7-10 – Patience in Suffering

7Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! 10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

Devotion Reproduced from 2022 Advent Devotional | Luther Seminary | Fling Wide the Door 

Contributing Writers
Dawn Alitz ’09 Ph.D.
Director of Coaching and Events
Amy Marga
Professor of Systematic Theology
Jessi LeClear Vachta ’14 M.A.
Director of Enrollment Services

Theological Editor
James L. Boyce ’71 M.Div.
Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Greek 

Editorial Coordinator
Bethany Riethmeier
Donor Engagement Coordinator

Luther Seminary
2481 Como Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
651-641-3456
luthersem.edu
 

You can download the God Pause – Advent Devotional 2022—”Fling Wide the Door” in it’s entirety here: 

https://sttimothylutheran.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Luther-Seminary-Advent-Devotional-Fling-Wide.pdf

Subscribe directly to God Pause Devotional by clicking on the button below. 

Fling Wide the Door – Advent Devotion – Tuesday, December 6

Fling Wide the Door – Advent Devotion – Tuesday, December 6

Psalm 146:5-10

The psalm today is the song of the person flinging open the door, welcoming the Lord of lords and King of kings! There are no words of not being prepared or having made great preparations; the sole focus is on the one who is arriving. As we think of our own Advent preparations, what might it mean to leave behind our personal concerns and aspirations, even for a short period of time, in order to focus on being welcoming and grateful for the One who is arriving? And welcoming not only for the Christ child in a manger, but also for the risen Christ and his holy love for prisoners, strangers, and orphans—a mature love that needs to break through the hard parts of life.

Holy Spirit, it can be easy to welcome a child with love and open arms. We know that Jesus walked on this earth to promise and give so much more than a holiday with gifts. As we open our own doors and gates this season, may our eyes be wide open to the fullness of what Jesus promises and to whom—giving us a vision of the fullness of life. Amen.

Psalm 146:5-10
The psalm today is the song of the person flinging open the door, welcoming the Lord of lords and King of kings! There are no words of not being prepared or having made great preparations; the sole focus is on the one who is arriving. As we think of our own Advent preparations, what might it mean to leave behind our personal concerns and aspirations, even for a short period of time, in order to focus on being welcoming and grateful for the One who is arriving? And welcoming not only for the Christ child in a manger, but also for the risen Christ and his holy love for prisoners, strangers, and orphans—a mature love that needs to break through the hard parts of life.

Devotion Reproduced from 2022 Advent Devotional | Luther Seminary | Fling Wide the Door 

Contributing Writers
Dawn Alitz ’09 Ph.D.
Director of Coaching and Events
Amy Marga
Professor of Systematic Theology
Jessi LeClear Vachta ’14 M.A.
Director of Enrollment Services

Theological Editor
James L. Boyce ’71 M.Div.
Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Greek 

Editorial Coordinator
Bethany Riethmeier
Donor Engagement Coordinator

Luther Seminary
2481 Como Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
651-641-3456
luthersem.edu
 

You can download the God Pause – Advent Devotional 2022—”Fling Wide the Door” in it’s entirety here: 

https://sttimothylutheran.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Luther-Seminary-Advent-Devotional-Fling-Wide.pdf

Subscribe directly to God Pause Devotional by clicking on the button below. 

Fling Wide the Door – Advent Devotion – Monday, December 5

Fling Wide the Door – Advent Devotion – Monday, December 5

Isaiah 35:1-10
Isaiah paints a beautiful picture of a desert
flourishing with life, people strengthened and
healed from physical disease, and a path that can
be traveled with no fear of danger or getting lost.
In their time and culture, this picture describes
the hope of what God would restore to the exiled
people of Israel even as the realities of life showed
them something quite different. As you think about
the realities in your life, and the hope you believe
God can restore, what might you describe? Where
are the weak becoming strong? Where is disease
being healed? Hearing of God’s action in the past
allows us to trust that God is still acting today. It is
possible that even now hope is coming to life; keep
your eyes open to see the signs of new life and
growth appearing around you.

Creator God, you bring hope to new life every day;
maybe not to the fullness of Isaiah’s picture, but in small
ways that we can glimpse and hold onto. Give us the
eyes, ears, and heart to perceive what you are already
doing, so that we can rejoice and hope in the kingdom
you are creating right now. Amen.

Devotion Reproduced from 2022 Advent Devotional | Luther Seminary | Fling Wide the Door 

Contributing Writers
Dawn Alitz ’09 Ph.D.
Director of Coaching and Events
Amy Marga
Professor of Systematic Theology
Jessi LeClear Vachta ’14 M.A.
Director of Enrollment Services

Theological Editor
James L. Boyce ’71 M.Div.
Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Greek 

Editorial Coordinator
Bethany Riethmeier
Donor Engagement Coordinator

Luther Seminary
2481 Como Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
651-641-3456
luthersem.edu
 

You can download the God Pause – Advent Devotional 2022—”Fling Wide the Door” in it’s entirety here: 

https://sttimothylutheran.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Luther-Seminary-Advent-Devotional-Fling-Wide.pdf

Subscribe directly to God Pause Devotional by clicking on the button below. 

Fling Wide the Door – Advent Devotion – Sunday, December 4

Fling Wide the Door – Advent Devotion – Sunday, December 4

“Fling Wide the Door” (ELW 259)

“Fling Wide the Door” (ELW 259, Verse 2)
The second verse of our hymn shows an interesting
tension between rock and heart. When we hear
the words rock and foundation, we often think of
things that are hard and everlasting. And yet, the
writer says that the very core and foundation of
our belief is heart, mercy, and gentleness—traits
that we often think of as being soft and relatively
short-lived. And in a similar way, later in the verse
we sing that he brings our sorrows to an end so
that we may praise him for saving us from wrong.
We often think that sorrows end because that
which is causing the sorrow is taken away; not
often do we think that our own action could be the
culprit! Jesus is always engaging in these creative
tensions, loving us even though we misunderstand
and get in our own way. As you think about your
relationship with Jesus and others, what role does
forgiveness—of ourselves and others—play in this
idea of welcome? How might forgiveness change
your ability to fling wide the door?

Jesus, we come to you knowing that we don’t measure
up to your holiness in ways that deserve your love, and
this keeps us from truly coming to you or welcoming
you with joy. Continue to take our doubt, shame, and
burdens away so that we can come to you in joyful
worship! Amen.

Devotion Reproduced from 2022 Advent Devotional | Luther Seminary | Fling Wide the Door 

Contributing Writers
Dawn Alitz ’09 Ph.D.
Director of Coaching and Events
Amy Marga
Professor of Systematic Theology
Jessi LeClear Vachta ’14 M.A.
Director of Enrollment Services

Theological Editor
James L. Boyce ’71 M.Div.
Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Greek 

Editorial Coordinator
Bethany Riethmeier
Donor Engagement Coordinator

Luther Seminary
2481 Como Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
651-641-3456
luthersem.edu
 

You can download the God Pause – Advent Devotional 2022—”Fling Wide the Door” in it’s entirety here: 

https://sttimothylutheran.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Luther-Seminary-Advent-Devotional-Fling-Wide.pdf

Subscribe directly to God Pause Devotional by clicking on the button below. 

Fling Wide the Door – Advent Devotion – Saturday, December 3

Fling Wide the Door – Advent Devotion – Saturday, December 3

“Fling Wide the Door” (ELW 259)

“Fling wide the door!” The opening lines from
our hymn paint a picture of exuberant, radical
welcome. There is no hesitation as if opening the
door by just a crack to see who might be ringing
the doorbell. The writer is joyfully and fully opening
the house, town, or perhaps even their heart to
receive the beloved guest. We can only do that in
a state of unconditional love and trust of the one
who is arriving. As I work with people, leaders, and
congregations, it isn’t uncommon that I sense a
hesitancy in opening the door to Jesus, a concern
that one might be seen as weak, or wrong, or less
intelligent if they lean into their faith and trust
this mysterious relationship. As you imagine the
opportunity to welcome Jesus into your home or
community, how would you open the door?

Jesus, you welcome us fully into your kingdom and
your presence. As we prepare for your arrival, may we
find ways to learn about you, lean into your hopes for
humankind, and open the door widely to welcome all
that you have to offer us. Amen.

Devotion Reproduced from 2022 Advent Devotional | Luther Seminary | Fling Wide the Door 

Contributing Writers
Dawn Alitz ’09 Ph.D.
Director of Coaching and Events
Amy Marga
Professor of Systematic Theology
Jessi LeClear Vachta ’14 M.A.
Director of Enrollment Services

Theological Editor
James L. Boyce ’71 M.Div.
Professor Emeritus of New Testament and Greek 

Editorial Coordinator
Bethany Riethmeier
Donor Engagement Coordinator

Luther Seminary
2481 Como Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
651-641-3456
luthersem.edu
 

You can download the God Pause – Advent Devotional 2022—”Fling Wide the Door” in it’s entirety here: 

https://sttimothylutheran.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Luther-Seminary-Advent-Devotional-Fling-Wide.pdf

Subscribe directly to God Pause Devotional by clicking on the button below.