Slideshow image

Here is an Advent-themed devotion from the writings of Henri Nouwen for today.

A Broader View

May all kings fall down before him, all nations give him service.  For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper.
                            Psalm 72:11-12

We must develop a global spirituality in which the demands of the Gospel guide not only the behavior of individuals but of nations as well.  Many will consider this naïve.  They are glad to accept the teachings of Jesus for their personal and family lives, but when it comes to international affairs they consider these same teachings unrealistic and utopian.  Yet, Jesus sent out his apostles to make disciples not just of individual people but of all the nations, and to teach these nations to observe his commands (Matthew 28:19-20).  At the last day, Jesus will call these same nations before this throne and raise the critical question: “What have you done for the least of mine?” (Matthew 25:31-46). the life of discipleship goes far beyond individual piety or communal loyalty.  The whole world is to be converted! Nations, not just individual people are called to leave the house of fear – where suspicion, hatred, and war rule – and enter the house of love, where reconciliation, healing, and peace can reign.


Sometimes we hope for very little, for fear of being disappointed.  Other times we seem to put a great deal of faith in what turn out to be false promises.  The Gospel promises us a great deal, if we put our faith in the promises of God.  Advent is a good time to ask ourselves just how much we really believe in those promises.  Furthermore, how much do our actions reflect what we really believe?

Taken from: “The Lord Is Near: Advent Meditations From The Works of Henri J. M. Nouwen.” p.18.

Photo by Laura Nyhuis on Unsplash