For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
We have an Advent gift to open today, the gift of grace. On my own I cannot turn my back on wrongdoing. I become critical and judgmental. I want my own way and get angry if my “rights” are taken away. I need God’s grace to take on attributes of God’s presence within me – to be self-controlled, upright and godly. Praise God for our savior, Jesus, who died to forgive us of all wrongdoing and lives within us to make us his own people, eager to do good! I pray that one day God will appear in glory. This is the gift that will be opened in God’s own timing.
We pray, O Lord, for all who seek you and endeavor to live according to your truth. Fill us with your Holy Spirit, so that we may long to do what is pleasing in your sight, according to the grace given us in Jesus Christ. Thank you for your gifts of grace in Christ our savior. Amen.