Greetings in the name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:
Immediately following the birth of our Savior, Joseph and Mary (in keeping with a strong Jewish custom) had Jesus presented at the temple (Luke 2).
Simeon, the righteous Jew at the temple that day, spoke a prophecy over the Christ-child that confirmed He was indeed the Messiah. When Joseph and Mary heard these words, they were amazed (Luke 2:33). This word amazed (or, astonished, marveled, etc.) was used in Luke 2:18 to describe the people’s response to the shepherds announcement of the birth of Christ. This word also appeared in the birth story of John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Messiah.
The idea of “astonished” seems to follow the announcement of the Advent of Jesus Christ, and rightly so. After all, 3000 years of prophecy anticipated the holy night Jesus was born. Today, we should share in the response of the first century recipients of the news of Christ’s birth: astonished. This does not indicate surprise, but rather the amazement of how marvelous and miraculous God’s goodness becomes when experienced first hand.
“And all who heard the message were astonished at what was told to them by the shepherds.” (Luke 2:18)
“And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him.” (Luke 2:33)
Today, do we continue to marvel at the coming of our Savior? Do we truly live astonished at His majesty, His glory, and the reality that Jesus is “God with us”?
This advent season, do not lose the wonder. Continue to be astonished at the love of God made known the night the angels sang of our Savior’s birth.
I invite you to join me on each day of this advent season to be astonished again and again at the significance of the birth of Jesus Christ. I have provided a devotional reading for each day of Advent, beginning with Sunday, December 2.
I hope you will join me on this journey as we continue to live astonished at the miracle of our Savior’s birth.
I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday.
Dr. Kenneth R. Pruitt
873 Little Neck Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23452
“And all who heard the message were astonished at what was told to them by the shepherds.”