Advent Devotional December 9, 2020

Scripture

Isaiah 6:1-13

1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. 2 Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.” 4 The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. 5 And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” 6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!” 9 And he said, “Go and say to this people: ‘Keep listening, but do not comprehend; keep looking, but do not understand.’ 10 Make the mind of this people dull, and stop their ears, and shut their eyes, so that they may not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and comprehend with their minds, and turn and be healed.” 11 Then I said, “How long, O Lord?” And he said: “Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is utterly desolate; 12 until the LORD sends every-one far away, and vast is the emptiness in the midst of the land. 13 Even if a tenth part remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak whose stump remains standing when it is felled.” The holy seed is its stump.

Devotional

Brandon Anthony Shaw ’19

Holy. God is H-O-L-Y. What does this mean? 

A Th.M. graduate of Pittsburgh Seminary and a D.Min. student at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary (Chicago), I also study theology at the University of Notre Dame to learn what the Roman Catholic Church can teach me about our Savior, Jesus Christ. During my first week of class there this summer (2020), Dr. Anthony Pagliarini spoke to us about the holiness of God through an analogy concerning his wife’s goodness. Anthony sees his dear wife as good, like God; but God is not like Katie in his goodness. God is supereminently good. In other words, God is beyond any kind of goodness we can comprehend. He is in a class by himself. When we speak of God as “holy” we must think of him as above anything we may conjure in our minds as we dwell on his righteous attributes. Doing so honors him and causes us to reflect on him in reverential awe. 

This Christmas season, we can praise Jesus that his eternal holiness sets him apart from us and is the ground for our salvation. Praise him this Advent for his holy nature!

Prayer

Dear Holy Father, thank you that you are not like us and that your ways are transcendentally higher than our ways. Thank you for sending your beloved and holy Son to come dwell among us. Thank you that he lived the perfect life of righteousness on our behalf, died in our place, rose for our justification, now reigns over the cosmos for our good and your everlasting glory, and will return to bring eternal shalom to all things unto your unending praise. Pour out your saving grace in abundance this season for the sake of your global renown. In Jesus’ name, amen!

About Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Rooted in the Reformed tradition, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is committed to the formation of women and men for theologically reflective ministry and to scholarship in service to the global Church of Jesus Christ.

Become a Student

Certificate Programs

Special Programs

Faculty

In addition to their on-campus duties, our faculty are experts in their fields and are available to preach and teach. Learn more about their topics of research and writing and invite them to present at your congregation or gathering.

Events

The Seminary hosts a wide range of events—many of them free!—on topics of faith including church planting, mission, vocation, spiritual formation, pastoral care and counseling, archaeology, and many more. Visit our calendar often for a listing of upcoming events.

Visit PTS

Interested in the Seminary? Come visit us!

Stay in Touch with PTS

Sign-up to receive the Seminary's newsletters: Seminary News (monthly), Church Planting Initiative (monthly), Continuing Education (monthly), World Mission Initiative (monthly), Metro-Urban Institute (quarterly), and Kelso Museum. Alums, there's also one for you!