It is in the ordinary duties and labors of life that the Christian can and should develop his spiritual union with God.”
There is a wonderful little book called Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. Brother Lawrence did ordinary, everyday tasks such as washing dishes and planting vegetables. Yet everything he did was dedicated to God. Each task was done for the glory of God. He made each task holy. How different life would be if we could all do this.
Prayer: Glorious God, help us to understand that the simplest task is done for you. Remind us that everything we do each day is holy. Amen
I have always loved the 23rd Psalm. Especially the part about going down into the valley. God promises to be with us. It says his rod and staff will be there. God is with us in our darkest days. He is the light at the end of the tunnel. No matter how bad things are feel the loving arms of God holding you close and know that you are not alone.
Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.
I have always love this image. The idea of God choosing to create a world is…I can’t find a word wonderful enough. The Spirit of moving. Notice that in this version Spirit is capitalized. The Spirit is a facet of God. God is not one thing but many things. A God way beyond our understanding. Know that this is God. Infinite and unknowable until He chooses to become a man.
I think this is the perfect time to center on a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.
I am sure that Christ had no plan to be the most important person the world has ever known. His plan was to teach us about his father and how to live our lives. Each of us has a choice each day to live as Christ taught us. What is right is always the thing to do. We don’t know what the impact of that choice will be. It doesn’t matter.
Since this is Advent what are we looking forward to….the birth of a baby….not just an ordinary baby but the most amazing gift from God…Himself. He was willing to come to earth and live among us. For me this is amazing. Who would give up heaven? This is as incredible as the resurrection. Some theologians are Resurrection Theologians. They feel that the resurrection is the most important part of Christ’s coming. Some are Incarnational Theologians. They see God coming to earth as the most important. I see it as a whole thing. His coming to earth, his ministry, his death, his resurrection are a whole. In my mind you can’t separate it out. It is indivisible.
In churches that follow that sort of pattern it is now Advent. The word “advent” is derived from the Latin “coming.” The dictionary says it is “the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.”
When we are planning for the arrival of someone or something important we usually spend time getting ready. If it is something good we are awaiting we anticipate it with excitement. In this case it is the arrival of a baby.
Waiting for a baby can be exhilarating and exhausting. We buy things for the baby, get a room ready, attend parties and get presents. We count the days.
These are all things we do in this season. However the season has run off the rails. We have forgotten why we are doing all of this. Stop and remember why we are waiting!
11 Do not be far from me,
for trouble is near
and there is no one to help.
Some prayers begin “Intimate, infinite God. God is both with us every moment and a God beyond our understanding. He is always there for us. There is always help at hand. Depend on it!
Amazing God, you are always present for us during the good and the bad. Thank you for loving us so much. AMEN
6 The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure,
silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.
We can count on the promises that God has made. We also have to understand that there are some things he did not promise. Life will not be perfect but God did promise to be by our side through it all. His strength will be our strength. His promises are never forgotten.
Faithful God, help us to feel your strength in times of trouble. Remind us that you are faithful. AMEN
Psalm 8: 1-2
1 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
2 I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
We read these words but do we follow them? How often do we tell about the thing the Lord has done for us? I have mentioned before that a friend calls God’s intervention in our lives “the arangels at work.” I try to remember to share how that happens in my life but usually only with those who understand it. I need to share more with others. They may scoff and tell me it’s “coincidence” but that’s fine. Maybe they will see my belief as “something more.”
Tell about God’s marvelous works. He continues to work today. Sing his praises!
Amazing God, thank you for your work in our lives. Remind us to share it with others. AMEN
The table is a meeting place, a gathering ground, the source of sustenance and nourishment, festivity, safety, and satisfaction. ————-Laurie Colwin
We gather around our tables with our friends and families. This is the place we feel at home. It is a place of comfort.
As Christians our table, our place of comfort is at the communion table. It is where our Christian family meets and feeds on the word of God and the wine and bread. It is our home.
Loving God, you provide our spiritual home among other Christians. Remind us to meet at the table and feast. AMEN