Sunday, Dec.17 – Isaiah 61: 1-4; 8-11 Someone has given this the title “Good news for the oppressed” and it must have warmed the prophet’s heart to be able to proclaim good news to his people. He tells them that, because they are rightly related to God, they will be strong, upright and fruitful – like mighty oak trees, planted to give honour and glory to God. Today I pray, asking God’s Spirit to show me anything in my life that is disordered and interferes with that right relationship. I ask that I might grow towards the image of that oak tree, in my marriage, my family, my community – but most of all, to bring glory to God.
Monday, Dec.18 – Ephesians 6:10-17 My enemies are generally things unseen. The coming of Christ brings unlimited resources for defeating enemies of fear, envy, anxiety….. so we can dress for success by putting on these pieces. I will pray this today.
Tuesday, Dec.19 – Psalm 125 I notice the corporate language in this Psalm. This is not about an individual, but about the Lord’s people. I see myself as part of something much bigger than me – a community “whose hearts are in tune” with the Lord. Today I am praying for my heart to be in tune in all the events and conversations of the day. I pray for friends, family and faith community to be drawn to the reverberations of that heavenly tuning fork.
Wednesday, Dec.20 – Malachi 3:16-4:6 These words of mercy and judgement are the last words in the Old Testament. They come after an impassioned call to repentance. Then I turn the page and my eyes fall on, “This is how Jesus the Messiah was born.” (V. 18) My prayer is about how this changes everything. I re-read the Malachi passage in light of Matthew.
Thursday, Dec.21 – Hebrews 1: 1-4 Jesus’ birth is a part of the whole work of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Prayerfully ponder the beauty of this Father-Son relationship.
Friday, Dec. 22 – Hebrews 1: 5-14 This is to say that God’s Son is greater than the angels. Not many in my world would argue this. But look at verse 14. What role have angels played in my life? Seen or unseen? Think about the role of angels in the Advent/Christmas narrative. Am I open to the care of angels?
Saturday, Dec. 23 – John 7: 40-52 Oh, I would like to sit with the birth story, to picture the Nativity scene, to stay with the moment. But to ponder this in isolation is to miss the magnitude of Incarnation. I must go to the arguing crowds, the plotting Pharisees, the conflicted followers. In this season of waiting, we know how the story unfolds and that it continues to unfold in our lives, even as we wait for Christ to come again. I will put this into prayer with the Psalmist’s words as refrain. “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Wait patiently.”