Michael is preparing a daily Advent prompt, a sort of on-line Advent Calendar. A short passage on some Advent-related theme. And then some simple instructions to inspire some reflection on the meanings of Christmas and how we might prepare for it.
And each day has an extra credit option: a Psalm that relates to the theme– and an invitation to read it at least twice and ask what God is saying to you?
About 30 people are receiving them each day electronically. But they are also posted on the church’s Facebook page, and being shared to others’ pages, so that it seems that the Living Advent Calendar’s messages are touching even more people, many times more than the e-mailing list. (If you wish to receive them in your inbox automatically, please let the church office or Michael know.)
Here’s the example for today, Thurs., 12.04:
Openness to God demands our growing acceptance that we cannot create blueprints for our own lives. Though God’s character is unchanging, the ways of God are unpredictable, and there is a difference between arbitrariness and unpredictability. ― Enuma Okoro
When you think of your life, do you expect you know where it’s leading? Where are you now; did you expect to be here?
Or do you feel that there’s no telling where you will end up?
If the latter, is the unknowability a cause for concern or anxiety? Or is it in someway a mystery that engages you creatively, that you are interested in living out, as the only way to find out (how it will turn out)?
Either way, for today’s Advent “exercise,” imagine that you can have no idea how your life is going to turn out. You will end up in an unexpected place (literally or figuratively) and will have gotten there in surprising ways you never would have guessed or could have foreseen.
Now try and see that both that journey — even its apparent detours and dead-ends — and the final destination were always and completely in God’s hands. Not in some predestined sense, but because God was with you all along, and just active as you and everyone or anything else that acted upon you… but God has been different too, because only God is God. Can you envision this scenario and celebrate how God has shepherded and realized your surprising journey?
(Which should remind you of Old First’s latest mission summary for Old First: “Unapologetically Different; Gathered in Service; Join Us for a Surprising Journey.”)
Extra credit: Read Psalm 16 at least two times today with significant times in between each reading. What is God saying to you?