Advent Week One | Hope | The Marvelous Mystery
Rest: [Take a few moments of silence. Then slowly pray these words.]
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Read: [Meditate on the scripture of the week.]
Isaiah 64:1-9 | Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18 | 1 Corinthians 1:3-9 | Mark 13:24-37
Reflect: [Use this devotional thought for a moment of reflection. Today’s devotional is written by David Williams.]
It was not until my mid-twenties that I truly began to understand what walking with God was for me personally. I began to grasp that it truly was a faith walk with a miraculous God. God began to unfold some of the mystery of who He is and I began to embrace that marvelous mystery versus being driven away by it.
During certain times and seasons of life, the mystery of who He is can be very hard to swallow. My mom recently started her third battle with cancer. When I heard the news, the first thing that popped into my head was, “Father, why would you allow this amazing woman of God to battle this horrible disease for the third time? Hasn’t she already been through enough?” Those questions which I was asking were questions of doubt – doubting who God is and in my doubt, my lack of faith in His plans could be seen.
Sometimes, God’s plans are a mystery because I believe that if God were to reveal His full plan to us we would not be in a place to receive that plan. So, He gives us a little at a time and asks that we walk in faith, trusting Him and maintaining a posture of thankfulness for what He’s done and yet to do in our lives.
As Paul writes in I Corinthians, as followers of Christ, we have been “entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” My heart’s desire for myself and for you is that we will prove faithful and glorify God by worshipping in the mystery. God calls us to walk with faith in gratefulness for all He’s done. With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas in front of us, ‘tis the season for thankfulness!
The posture of the Kingdom of Heaven is one of gratitude. I pray we will embrace that with our hearts, no matter what season of life He has us in.
Respond: [Put your prayer into action throughout the day.]
It’s easy to be grateful in the good times. But, God also calls us to be grateful in the hard times. Often in these moments we need to experience God’s mystery through the patient love of others around us. Recount those times in which you have seen God’s faithfulness through the support of a friend or loved one. Take a moment to reach out to them and say “Thank you.” Tell them how you experienced the mystery of God’s kindness through their love.