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Yesterday we began the season of Advent, marking the time as we await Jesus’ arrival!  It is good to incorporate an activity or practice in this season.  It helps us to engage with it more intentionally and more fully, and consequently to discover more of what God has waiting for us during this Advent season. 

Throughout Advent we will shift our rhythm for these weekly devotions slightly.  On Mondays and Fridays we will join in an Advent-themed devotion from the writings of Henri Nouwen.  Here is our devotional for today, Monday in this First Week of Advent.

God’s Creative Ways

Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herals of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah: “Here is your God!”
                                                                                                                                                  Isaiah 40:9

A few years ago I met an old professor at the University of Notre Dame.  Looking back on his long life of teaching, he said with a funny twinkle in his eyes: “I have always been complaining that my work was constantly interrupted until I slowly discovered that my interruptions were my work.”

That is the great conversation in our life: to recognize and believe that the many unexpected events are not just disturbing interruptions of our projects, but the way in which God molds our hearts and prepares us for his return.  Our great temptations are boredom and bitterness.  When our good plans are interrupted by poor weather, our peace of mind by inner turmoil, our hope for peace by a new war, our desire for a stable government by a constant changing of the guards, and our desire for immortality by real death, we are tempted to give in to a paralyzing boredom or to strike back in destructive bitterness.  But when we believe that patience can make our expectations grow, then fate can be converted into a vocation, wounds into a call for deeper understanding, and sadness into a birthplace of joy.

Dear Lord, this Advent mold my heart in preparation for your return.

Taken from: “The Lord Is Near: Advent Meditations From The Works of Henri J. M. Nouwen.” p. 4

Photo by Andres F. Uran on Unsplash