With all the noise in the world, do you hear the voice of God? Your calendar tells you what to do, but do you remember who you are? Being comes before doing. This is a call to put first things first. Return to the Lord with this daily pattern of prayer and devotion. Set aside this time as a sanctuary. Find a space free of distraction and follow this pattern.
Make the sign of the cross and say,
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
If you have an advent wreath, light all four candles and pray:
Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. The light no darkness can overcome.
O Love Incarnate, draw near to me this hour and throughout the day. Teach me to love as you love - fully, sacrificially, and with great joy. Amen.
Word: John 1:11-14
“This true Light, coming into the world, gives light to every one. He came into the world. The world was made by Him, but it did not know Him. He came to His own, but His own did not receive Him. He gave the right and the power to become children of God to those who received Him. He gave this to those who put their trust in His name. These children of God were not born of blood and of flesh and of man’s desires, but they were born of God. Christ became human flesh and lived among us. We saw His shining-greatness. This greatness is given only to a much-loved Son from His Father. He was full of loving-favor and truth.”
He came to his own, but His own did not receive him. The very people who should have recognized who Jesus was and welcomed him with joy were some of the same people who rejected him and kept him at arm’s length. It’s a sad truth that the presence and arrival of Jesus is not always received as good news.
Many times we have areas of life where God’s presence isn’t welcome. Places where if Jesus were to just show up unannounced that wouldn’t exactly be good news. Maybe it’s at work or school, where we’d rather not be seen with Jesus or have people know that we claim him as Lord. Maybe it’s at home, where we would hang our head in shame if Jesus showed up and saw or heard what happens behind closed doors. Maybe it’s on our devices, our social media habits, or internet browsing history. We wouldn’t want God seeing that. Or maybe it’s an area where you know God is calling you to grow up, take a step of faith and follow him. But you also know what you would have to give up. And you think, not yet. Not now. Is there an area in your life where the thought of God’s presence isn’t exactly good news? Where you keep Jesus at arm’s length?
Fear and shame are some of the reasons a person might be hesitant to receive Jesus. Fear of what his presence will mean. Shame over our past. But John writes that Jesus is full of loving-favor and truth. We don’t have to be afraid or ashamed to receive him and grant him full access to every area of our life. Trust in him and rest in the presence of Jesus for you.
Prayer for Rest
· For physical, mental, and emotional health.
· For times of joy, delight, and leisure.
· For a Sabbath day free from work, tasks, and stress.
· For a holy time of worship.
Heavenly Father, come into those places in my heart that have been closed to you. Cleanse me from my sin and fill me with your love. Help me to rest in you. Amen.