Advent Devotion – Monday December 3
The Rev. Carolyn Matthews, Executive Assistant to the President
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your countenance.
9 For all our days pass away under your wrath;
our years come to an end like a sigh.
10 The days of our life are seventy years,
or perhaps eighty, if we are strong;
even then their span is only toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
11 Who considers the power of your anger?
Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you.
12 So teach us to count our days
that we may gain a wise heart.
13 Turn, O Lord! How long?
Have compassion on your servants!
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad as many days as you have afflicted us,
and as many years as we have seen evil.
16 Let your work be manifest to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and prosper for us the work of our hands—
O prosper the work of our hands! (New Revised Standard Version – NRSV)
There is no hiding of who we are before God. It is at the same time scary, sobering, comforting, and perhaps most important of all – freeing. Some of us have learned the fine art of “shifting.” It is a means of not only surviving but attaining and maintaining credibility at work, church, and sometimes at play.
God sees the real us, who we truly are, and by His love continues to say as at the sixth day of creation, “it is (we are) very good.” God’s love for us never wavers and this time of anticipation of the celebration of the birth of Jesus, reminds us that God makes the impossible, possible, on our behalf. We are reminded, no matter what mold the world wishes to squeeze us into, God frees us to be who He has created and gifted us to be. God’s consistent love, His desire and willingness to make it possible for all to live in relationship with Him, and we each with one another, brings us to this holy time – the time of anticipation and expectation – full of hope and possibility. “Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.” (Psalm 90:14, NLT)
Lord, give us a mind and heart to appreciate the life you have given us. We thank you that you free us to be who we are created to be in You. Help us to utilize our gifts and talents that others may know of your unwavering love, grace, and mercy. Amen.