November 29, 2017
Posted: November 29, 2017
A Devotion for your Day
By Julie Opheim
"Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."
Every day he was teaching in the temple, and at night he would go out and spend the night on the Mount of Olives, as it was called. And all the people would get up early in the morning to listen to him in the temple.
I have always loved the Christmas season. As a child growing up on a farm in a small community, I have fond memories of Christmas Eve, being together with family at our small Lutheran church, savoring the peacefulness of singing Silent Night by candlelight and as we were leaving church, receiving brown bags with salty peanuts, fruit and candy as was the tradition. Our evening continued at my Grandparents, enjoying Christmas treats, playing games with my cousins, and opening up a new pair of pajamas.
Often, our carefree Christmas memories are overshadowed by the worries of life. We worry about what's happening in the world. We worry about our family and friends. Will they be safe? Will they be able to overcome the challenges they are facing? We have financial worries. Will we be able to pay our bills? Will we be able to find a job? And the list goes on and on.
We know that there will be challenges during our lives here on earth. Jesus says 'Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down.' Jesus wants us to slow down and stay in communication with him. He wants us to shift our focus so that we can understand his plan for us. Jesus challenges us to be alert and to listen closely for his voice each day. Find strength in knowing that you can trust him and his word with whatever you need.
Dear God, be with us during this Advent Season. Help us to hear your voice as you quiet the concerns of our hearts. Teach us to listen to you and make your plan clear for us. Amen.
Julie Opheim works with adult education ministries like bible studies and classes, new members, and Purposeful Retirement.
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