Initial note: to make the most of these devotionals it is suggested that the disciple does their best to enter into the Scripture as if hearing it for the very first time, as if they are in the presence of the very first hearers. Allow yourself to feel the location, and the message in a sensory manner. In other words live God’s Word. I have found that this approach can move us into what can only be described as a timeless place, where we can truly experience the slowing we seek in God’s presence.
Tuesday, Day Nine, December 6th
Dear Lord Jesus, help me to feel the calm peacefulness of the slowing that You are inviting me into this Advent season. Kindle within me an ever deepening desire to rest before You that You may draw me into a deeper understanding and a deeper experience of Your Holy Presence. Lord I desire to know more of You in my life and I trust Your sacred Word to guide my way into an experience of inner peace in Your Holy Presence. In the precious name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen
Read Luke 2:1-7 slowly: Do not rush. Savor each word. Listen attentively as the narrative unfolds. You may want to read it several times, with no agenda but to simply hear God’s Word spoken into your heart. Allow the words to reverberate in your mind. Be open and aware of any thoughts and feelings; physically and emotionally without dwelling on them. Let yourself slowdown in God’s presence. Feel the slowing. When you feel fully recollected consider the thought that follows. Finally consider the questions provided. You may be drawn to journal your thoughts as you move through God’s Word. Be open to this direction as it comes upon you.
Thought: I imagine Joseph and Mary were not happy when they heard that they had to go to Jerusalem, especially in light of Mary’s advanced pregnancy. I can imagine Joseph thinking, “Great some bureaucrat wants to take a census and now we are stuck having to go to Jerusalem.” Then imagine their consternation when the baby came while they were away from home. Then on top of it there was no place to stay, again all because of a ridiculous census. Yet somehow there is calm over the situation. Maybe Mary and Joseph were not as aggravated as I think I might have been. Peace in the midst of a less than optimum situation?
Questions to consider: Did Mary and Joseph experience the slowing of God? We have no indication that they were upset in any way, yet the situation is a difficult one. How might we better allow ourselves to feel God’s presence and hear God’s invitation to slow down during difficult or chaotic times in our lives?