Today's Scripture Reading
23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
Advent is a time of waiting and longing. We are caught in a flurry of holiday preparations while we long for peace and quiet to contemplate the enormity of what Jesus’ birth, so long ago, means to us today. We yearn for moments of pure worship while combating miles of congested highways leading to the mall, or hours of baking cookies.
One thing we need to remember: Worship begins inside our hearts. It’s enhanced by knowing a solid body of believers is going through the same experiences at this holy time -- but the bottom line is that worship takes place internally between our Lord and us. Waiting is far from easy.
I’m thinking of the parable of the Prodigal Son. ... The distraught and anxious father waited and waited for his “lost” son to come to his senses and return home. The father agonized. Many of us can understand his anxiety. Was his son hungry? Did he have a roof over his head at night? Was he ill?
Imagine the father’s joy when he saw the son coming ... still a long way off! He rejoiced and said to his servants, Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house ... Get a ring for his finger ... We must celebrate with a feast. Glory Hallelujah!
Here we are at the point in the Christian year when we prepare our hearts to receive the blessing of Jesus’ birth -- we are about to “come home” with the father waiting -- and there are still presents to buy, the tree to decorate, sheets to launder for arriving company, baking to be done, cards to get into the mail, and...and...
Let’s deliberately set aside a few minutes every day, whether it be early morning or late at night -- and it will have to be consciously deliberate -- just to draw a deep breath, and say,
Father here I am. It’s only a few weeks until Christmas and I’m not nearly ready. Help me to focus inward and dwell on the most magnificent gift every given. Help me clear my mind enough to appreciate this time of waiting and give it the attention it demands. Help me not to well so much on the secular time of Advent that I overlook the spiritual side. Help me be worthy of Your love. I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today's devotion was shared by
Marilyn A. Gardner
Thanks to Marilyn Gardner for permission to use material from "Whispers From The Heart", an Advent Devotional. Marilyn is a professional writer and the mother of Nelda Seger, an associate at DisciplesNet Church.