November 26, 2017
Posted: November 26, 2017
A Devotion for Your Day
by Rick Summy
Advent is expectation, a whisper, a rumor unleashed but unconfirmed. It is girded in anticipation, in waiting, its garments a hopeful, bright blue. But it walks in the gray before the dawn, in the darkness prior to the sun's arrival. Urgent, with eager longing, Advent leans forward toward the promise of what is but is also not yet. "Keep awake."
Advent is a real season, one that does nothing to deny the difficulties of life and faith. Aren't the paths we often walk as much or more darkness than light? Are we not at least as familiar with the "not yet" of God's presence as we are with the "now" of it? The artificial light that shines in this season blinds by its over-brightness, creating disconcerting shadows on the lenses of our sight.
The most fortunate of personal lives are filled with fear, even if it hides beneath a polished surface. Relationships ebb and flow; some grow brittle and shatter. Death takes our loved ones, sometimes suddenly, often little by precious little, but takes them all the same.
When Jesus says that God is like one who has gone on a journey without a clear returning itinerary, we know what he means in our bones. We are often weary with waiting, our longing dulled, our hope diminished.
But a voice whispers, "Keep awake." It is not loud and brash, but rather a gentle nudge to stay upright, to keep our eyes open, to hold on to hope. "Keep awake." It is encouragement to strain forward through the artificial light toward the living flame of Christ that is present still, despite the dimming shades of divisiveness, ubiquitous violence, and terror.
In Advent we grope about in familiar darkness but we are clothed in a royal, hopeful blue. We are stirred from sluggishness by a sharp breath of exhortation and encouragement: "Keep awake." We wait awake for the light that lives and enlivens us, we who dwell in shadow and doubt.
Dear God, keep us awake to your presence among us, especially in the times that seem dark and foreboding. Amen.
Rick Summy serves as Senior Pastor.
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