12.14.2006

Advent Devotions

I've always struggled with devotions. Most of the time, they infuriate me. Two years ago, I tried to do some Lenten devotions written by Jimmy Carter. I threw the booklet out the second day as it upset me so much. That's not what is supposed to happen, right?

This Advent, I have been meditating with the Mennonites at Goshen College. A friend from seminary is actually a visiting scholar there and since I cherish her wisdom, I thought it sounded like a great idea. There have been a couple that have been wonderful. They have shaped my day and made Advent deeper and more meaningful.

And then, there was today. So, you might have guessed from my previous blogs that I'm in my own wilderness. I'm struggling with where in the world God is in this moment. Was She in the call process? Is He present right now? Or is God just having a good laugh at my expense? (Um, I doubt that.) So, I open the devotion today and the scripture reads:

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:4-7, NRSV).

I can do nothing but rejoice (although a little defiant) that God is indeed "near."

1 comment:

Chris T. said...

I can't remember how I found your blog (does Philosophy over Coffee link to you, maybe?), but I've been reading for a few weeks now.

As far as Lenten devotions, I found To Follow You, Light of Life by Archbishop Bruno Forte really powerful last Lent. He is a progressive (for the Romans) prelate.

Never fear -- God is definitely present in your call process. I know how that wilderness feels. The time before my ordination, everything felt like it was clicking, but in the couple months after I was ordained, I had a very difficult time. Started wondering if I was supposed to be a priest after all. You figure out that you're the one wandering away from God in your self-obsession, and when you turn around, lo and behold, the Spirit is right there with you.

Advent blessings!