Good morning and welcome to this year’s devotional for extended Advent. A few quick notes about what we do in this space. The devotional started a few years ago as a way for me to process scripture on a daily basis during Advent of 2009. It was really meant for journal practices but it took off and others wanted to join in the conversation. So during Advent and Lent I have been writing and you all have responded! I love it! Feel free to email me when something moves you or you have questions or you want to see something else. OR if you love to write and you would like to be a guest, please let me know.
After I write the blog and send it out on MailChimp, I also post it on my blog pastorcourt.wordpress.com. You can send people to the blog or re read there or you can share via MailChimp. People can subscribe or unsubscribe from this email. If you need to take a break, that is totally cool with me.
Anyway….Each day I will include a scripture. For example, today’s scripture is:
God, teach me lessons for living
so I can stay the course.
Give me insight so I can do what you tell me—
my whole life one long, obedient response.
Guide me down the road of your commandments;
I love traveling this freeway!
Give me a bent for your words of wisdom,
and not for piling up loot.
Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets,
invigorate me on the pilgrim way.
Affirm your promises to me—
promises made to all who fear you.
Deflect the harsh words of my critics—
but what you say is always so good.
See how hungry I am for your counsel;
preserve my life through your righteous ways!
41-48 Let your love, God, shape my life
with salvation, exactly as you promised;
Then I’ll be able to stand up to mockery
because I trusted your Word.
Don’t ever deprive me of truth, not ever—
your commandments are what I depend on.
Oh, I’ll guard with my life what you’ve revealed to me,
guard it now, guard it ever;
And I’ll stride freely through wide open spaces
as I look for your truth and your wisdom;
Then I’ll tell the world what I find,
speak out boldly in public, unembarrassed.
I use a daily lectionary tool for scripture. Each day I will tell you which translation I use. Today’s scripture is from The Message.
Then I write something about it….see below. 🙂 Then you will see me tomorrow in your email inbox. If you don’t see it, check your junk mail. 🙂
We are all journeying in some crazy way. We all have our paths through this world and somehow we are really very lucky to intercept one another. Sometimes we intercept more than other times but this season, we are journeying together. We all have our stuff that we carry as well. You and I have different stuff we carry but it might be useful to the other. One of the reasons that I love this space so much is that I get to hear from so many of you that I don’t often get to interact with. You all write back with such amazing stories, it makes me teary. I was crying during a Grey’s Anatomy episode recently and my wife looked over and said, “Oh honey! Why are you crying?” I replied, “I always get teary when community comes together!”
When we come to each other in the path, there is such a collision of joy for me. This Psalm seemed to be the perfect opening for our 40ish days together. Each morning I ask God to direct me on my path but I also pray that I might interact with those who I am meant to cross in my own pilgrimage. Let your love, God, shape my life. If I am too hurried in my journey, I miss the moments to allow God’s love to shape my life.
May it be so!