Saturday, December 8, 2007

Week 2--Advent Devotional

(Light a Gold Candle—Symbol of Preparation and Spending Less)

Often Christmas is a season of “push and pull”. The religious community pulls us. It admonishes us to guard against the material society and its standards and to keep our priorities in order. The saturation of our consumer-oriented American culture causes the push. Every year the retail Christmas begins earlier and earlier. As a result we purchase gifts for our first cousins twice-removed. And we wonder why.

Our culture is stealthily pushing the Incarnation (Jesus’ coming to dwell in the flesh) to the outer fringes of the season. There is an effort to eradicate his presence and influence entirely. This attempt to remove Jesus is nothing new. Herod attempted to do the same, but his plan was thwarted.

As we prepare for this season let us evaluate whether we are being pushed or pulled to buy or do. We need to resist being conformed to the expectations created by the “traditions of men” and thwart any attempt to remove Jesus’ presence and influence.

Heavenly Father, during this holy season teach us to give weight to what is of eternal value. Prepare us to spend our time, energy, emotions, effort and money on what will expand your kingdom. Enable us to discern with deep clarity what we can change and what will change us. May your standard transform our desires. Please help us to understand how to spend less, so that we might truly spend more. Amen.

* Sunday: Romans 12:2; I John 2:15-17
* Monday: Daniel 1:1-21
* Wednesday: Daniel 3
* Thursday: Colossians 3:9-10; Ephesians 4:22-24
* Friday: Matthew 6:19-21; Luke 12:32-34
* Saturday: Proverbs 23: 4-5; Isaiah 55:1-2

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