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.
Thursday, Day Eleven, December 8th
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 2:21-38 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: Simeon and Anna are two wonderful Advent characters as their faithful waiting, anticipation and hope is evident for all to see. Again we have two people who don’t seem to show signs of chaos in their lives. Simeon has been waiting for a long time for the prophetic word that came to him many years earlier and now comes forth. Anna is a long time widow who never left the temple, serving day and night with fasting and prayers. Both are faithful, but far from comfortable people of God. You can feel the slowing in Simeon’s words that speak of peace, salvation and God’s glory. Likewise in Anna’s thankfulness you can feel God’s presence and the joy of God’s promise fulfilled.
Questions to consider: Simeon and Anna waited well. What are you waiting for God to do in your life? How well are you waiting? Are you getting impatient or are you savoring every moment as you wait for God to bring a special sense of peace, calm, slowing in your life? I wonder if these are not something that we already possess but are as yet unaware. Patient waiting is fruitful, faith building, faith sharing waiting and awareness of the promise fulfilled in our midst that is the stuff of a powerful testimony that shakes heaven and earth. How are you experiencing waiting? How are you sharing your testimony of God’s promises fulfilled in your life? We all have both scenarios going on in our life right now.