Friday December 22 2017

130801-dailydevovisuals-fri

Scripture: Psalm 16

Key verses:  (7-9)
7   I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
8   I keep the LORD always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

9   Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
my body also rests secure.

Reflection: It’s almost Christmas. I slept poorly last night, with my growing mental to-do list keeping me up. I know I’m not alone. So far today, four conversations with people have included an exchange like this:

“So, are you ready for Christmas?”

“Nope.”

“Me neither.” (Followed by a litany of all the things we still have to do to prepare (top stressors being baking, cooking, shopping, wrapping, mailing, hosting), and the desire to let some of those tasks go in order to focus on family and faith.)

We all know we don’t need to do all the things we think we need to do. What if we prepared more for the Advent of our Lord than for Christmas at our house? The poet Mary Oliver has a beautiful Advent prayer poem that encourages us to focus on those who are nearest to us, as a way to welcome God.

Prayer: Making the House Ready for the Lord

Dear Lord, I have swept and I have washed but

still nothing is as shining as it should be
for you.  Under the sink, for example, is an

uproar of mice—it is the season of their

many children.  What shall I do?  And under the eaves

and through the walls the squirrels

have gnawed their ragged entrances—but it is the

season when they need shelter, so what shall I do?  And

the raccoon limps into the kitchen and opens the cupboard

while the dog snores, the cat hugs the pillow;

what shall I do?  Beautiful is the new snow falling

in the yard and the fox who is staring boldly

up the path, to the door.  And still I believe you will

come, Lord: you will, when I speak to the fox,

the sparrow, the lost dog, the shivering sea-goose, know

that really I am speaking to you whenever I say,

as I do all morning and afternoon:  Come in, Come in.

Amen.

Author: Julie Hester

[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].

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