DAILY DEVOTIONALS 12.04 thru 12.09


Going Deeper …

 

 

 

Scripture Readings for the Week:

 

Psalm 22; Isaiah 64; Hebrews 11:1-2; Romans 8:18-25

 

I am going to open this week’s devotion with a statement – I am in need of hope!  Let me explain.  I’ve become an antagonist toward the “news” or should I say toward the presenters of news.  I (and maybe you) long for the days when the person on the screen shared with the viewer the facts of what had transpired in the community, nation, and world.  Today we get everyone’s opinion which often overshadows the few (if any) facts that are shared in the moment.  The effect of this is a feeling of despair.  Are you feeling it?

 

Just this week we’ve been knocked on our heels by the quickly growing public outing of prominent men who have sexually harassed women.  North Korea launched a ballistic missile that is reported as being capable of reaching anywhere in the United States.  Congress continues to be divided along partisan party lines while dismissing the abysmal approval ratings granted by their constituents.  But hey…the DOW is up!  I think you get the picture.

 

But do we really have it so bad?  Take a few moments and read an article or book that provides an introduction to the Old Testament.  In particular read about the OT prophets of Nahum, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Isaiah.  You will quickly be introduced to a world we cannot comprehend because empires such as the Assyrians, Babylonians, or Persians no longer exist.  Exile into a foreign land in service of your masters is not part of our modern American experience.  In reality, we don’t have it so bad.  And yet, the people who did listened to the words of these prophets because each of them shared good news.  They proclaimed the loving and caring presence of YAWEH.  In their words they showered upon the people hope.

 

The Advent season is a time for preparation and renewal.  It is a time to prepare for God to do something and renew ourselves in God’s promises, like hope.  I pray that this week’s reading of the scriptures, the reflections, and the questions will be a guide and inspiration as you consider what it means for God to be with us and how that is the impetus of hope.  I pray that God bless the reading of God’s Word and the meditations of your heart.

 

 

 

 

QUESTIONS

 

 

Monday

Who creates or generates despair for you?  Who are you engaging in a way that breeds hope for today and the future?

 

 

Tuesday

What about the world is going wrong and is breeding despair?  What way(s) are you engage as an agent that brings hope to the situation, in particular, hope in God?

 

 

Wednesday

When are you most vulnerable to the chaos and despair?  When do you feel like the chaos and despair can’t touch you or effect you?

 

 

Thursday

Where do you go for refuge from the chaos and despair in this world?  Where do you go that adds to your level of anxiety over the chaos and despair?

 

 

Friday

How is the current circumstances of the world impacting your relationship with your family, children, or God?  How is your relationship with God and your community of faith helping you to experience hope?

 

 

Saturday

God through Jesus became one of us.  God knows our joys and God knows what it is to experience despair.  Take a moment to note the ways this knowledge might influence your daily interaction with God and others.

 

 

 

 

Daily Prayer

 

Everlasting and Eternal God, I need you every day, every hour, every minute.  Pour out your unconditional love upon my life.  I ask that you bless and protect me today as I go out into this harsh and cruel world.  Today, O gentle Lord, let me experience your holy comforting presence, for I am tired and weary, and my spirit feels weak and filled with despair.  I surrender all to you.  May I understand your role for me on this journey.  Grant me a vision of your work in this world, produce in me hope.  Provide the grace, strength, and faith I need to take the next steps to reach my destination.  As I seek your strength, Lord guide me that I may walk and not faint.  Lift my weary spirit, so that I can find hope, rest, and eternal peace with you. In Jesus name I pray.    Amen.

 

 

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