Psalm 25:1-10, Nehemiah 9:6-15, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Remember, LORD, your compassion
and your faithful love,
for they have existed from antiquity.
As we enter the advent Season this Sunday, we will be drawn to worry about family and other social gatherings. The culture around us has begun its annual whirlwind of consumption and revelry. As Christmas approaches, the normal Christian gets pulled into the culture's orbit, and it seems so good, because it has to do with Christmas.
Take a breath. Breathe in. Breath out.
While breathing in deeply, say, “Remember, Lord, your compassion.”
While breathing out, say, “Be compassionate to your servant.”
While breathing in deeply (again), say, “Remember, Lord, your faithful love.”
While breathing out, say, “Remind your servant of your faithful love.”
The psalmist is all but throwing himself onto the grace of God. Nehemiah is seeing the grace of God in action through restoration. Paul is reminding the Thessalonians of the grace they have experienced, and the grace-filled life they are called to live out.
As the world enters a time of material craziness, we are called to enter a time of grace, a time to invite God incarnate, Emmanuel, to abide with us. Let us enter into His grace-filled presence and transform the space around us.
- It is often hard to be grace-filled in this season, and especially to share it. What can you do to share the grace that God has placed in your life?
- Can you see yourself throwing yourself into the lap of God? If, yes, how do you balance the awe of God with that openness? If, no, how do you balance this “reckless” love that God expressed in birth and death with the awe that you feel, or the “respect” that you must/should have?
KD) Are you excited about Christmas? Presents? Do you think about the best present of all, Jesus, and how to give Him to your friends?
Ian is an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene, and is currently Co-Lead Pastor at Enumclaw Nazarene Church in Enumclaw, WA, USA.
He has previously served as Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA; Associate Pastor at Snohomish Church of the Nazarene; College and Young Adult Pastor at Moscow Church of the Nazarene in Moscow, ID, USA.
Ian also writes at Starlyth.info (personal) and Nazarene.Digital (On Digital Transformation of the Church)