Advent Week One | Hope | The Journey

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Rest: [Take a few moments of silence. Then slowly pray these words.]

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Read: [Meditate on the scripture of the week.]

Isaiah 64:1-9 | Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18 | 1 Corinthians 1:3-9 | Mark 13:24-37


Reflect: [Use this devotional thought for a moment of reflection.  Today’s devotional is written by Kristen Lamm.]

“And not only that, but God himself is right alongside to keep you steady and on track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of His Son and our Master, Jesus.  He will never give up on you. Never forget that.”

In these verses, Paul is speaking to the Corinthians and reminding them that Christianity isn’t a momentary decision, but a lifetime journey.  So often, I wish that I could change in an instant.  I wish that I would instinctively know how to act and what to do because I made a profession of faith.  When you look around, so many things ARE instant in today’s world.  We have been convinced that instant is better and our patience has dwindled away.  Thanks to microwaves you no longer wait for food to cook, and iTunes made waiting to buy a cd a thing of the past.  You can even order groceries and have them delivered to your house within the hour. None of those things are inherently bad.  In fact, grocery delivery is a brilliant idea!  But, it explains why we think everything should be instant.

If you have ever made something from scratch, you know how much better your results are than anything store bought.  But, the process is much more complex.  It is more time consuming, it requires more work and preparation and typically more ingredients.  You can also invest all of that time and energy, but not get the result you expected.  Our spiritual formation is so similar.  It requires preparation and work.  We must be intentional when we are working to be more like Christ.  Sometimes we will move forward and other times we may fall back, but all the while Christ is working in us to transform us.

We are all on a journey to become more like Christ.  It is a journey that will last our entire life, and it is a journey that is not easily defined.  There is not a clear path to the end goal.  We will take detours, we will go backwards but God is still there with us.  As Paul says in the 1 Corinthians 1:9 in The Message,

“God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of His Son and our Master, Jesus.  He will never give up on you. Never forget that.”


FormationRespond: [Put your prayer into action throughout the day.]

It is always hard to see how God is working in your life if you don’t take time to look back.  So today, I would encourage you to take a few moments to think about where you have been and what God has done to bring you to today.  Think of a season of life in your past where you’ve grown significantly in your relationship with God. Was it easy, or difficult? Was it quick, or painfully slow? Was God faithful to pull you through? Now, looking forward to your future, pray this simple prayer:

“God himself is right alongside of me.

God will keep me steady.

God will keep me on track, until all things are wrapped up by Jesus.

God got me started in this spiritual adventure.

God will see me through.”

 

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