Today is Thursday, December 7th
Light one purple candle.
What’s the first thing you do when you know company is coming? How do you prepare for the arrival of guests?
Read Psalm 51:10-12
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit. [ESV]
Consider this quote today:
“One of the essential paradoxes of Advent: that while we wait for God, we are with God all along, that while we need to be reassured of God’s arrival, or the arrival of our homecoming, we are already at home.”
Personalize it. How can your thoughts and these readings and prayers help you worship fully, give more, spend less and love all.
Bonus: Read how members and friends of Christ-St. Paul's are experiencing today's devotion.
My name is Andrew Cannell and I am the youth minister at Christ-St. Paul’s. It does not take too long for people to know two things about me. First, that I am obsessed with Batman and, secondly, that I am a slob. It is this latter fact that will help you understand my struggle.
Living in a dorm and on my own has not helped me in the cleanliness department. Do not get me wrong, I have always been messy, but now I do not have anyone holding me accountable for my clutter. I can merely live in my filth. That is until I get a phone call that my mom will be coming to town. My heart sinks as I think about the years’ worth of cleaning that I will be working on in the coming weeks. I start working through the pile of dishes, scrubbing all the counters, and swiffering (or whatever the verb to use a Swiffer is) to try and get my house to my mom’s standards. Well, Rome was not built in a day and that seems more realistic than getting my house cleaned up. Alas, I typically do not meet the standards that my mom desires. While there is hope that one day I will clean my house to my mom’s satisfaction, there is no hope that I can clean up my life to the Lord’s specification. That is the Good News!
I think we can wrongly look at Advent as the time we need to get our acts together for the Lord to come. We falsely believe that by reading our Bible more, eating at Chick-fil-A, and just cleaning up the messiness of our lives that God will be pleased with our dwelling and want to live inside of us. That is not the story of the Psalmist. The Psalmist reminds us that it is not us who cleans our hearts but it is God who instead of rejecting us, makes a home in us. The reason we can Worship Fully is that we can take the time to stop trying to fix ourselves and take a look at the work that Jesus has already done. Believe me, I find a lot more beauty when I stop looking at myself and instead take the time to look at God.