Advent 2016 Daily Devotionals
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.
Wednesday, Day Ten, December 7th
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 2:8-20 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: Imagine just going about your daily work, then all of a sudden the heavens break in and the spiritual realm is visible all around you, and an angel speaks to you. You are told not to be afraid, but instead great joy is called for, due to good news. “A Savior who is Christ the Lord has been born.” Go and see! As you are caught up in the glory of the heavenly spectacle it suddenly multiplies exponentially as a multitude of angels appear, praising God saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among all humanity.” After a brief chat with your friends you go as you were told and sure enough find Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus, just as the angel said they would. You tell Mary, Joseph and others what the angel had said and all are left in wonder, while Mary ponders all these things in her heart.
Questions to consider: How do you feel as you live into this wonderful scene? How does this affect you? Again Mary seems to be quite calm. Is Mary experiencing the slowing as she ponders these things? What is God calling you to ponder, meditate, or contemplate on that might lead you into the slowing as well? How might you need to hear the words “Do not be afraid” in your life this day? How might hearing God’s words of peace be something you need to hear as well?