The pandemic has laid bare the deep wounds and divisions that exist in our land and throughout the world. As we enter the Advent season, how can we be agents of healing? welcome the Holy One? By allowing our eyes to be opened, even if it takes spit and dirt to make some mud so we can finally see the Holy One in the face of the stranger. Hospitality means we extend welcome by offering respite, sustenance and care; by opening our hearts and doors to those seeking healing, renewal, help. We cannot do it all, but we can do something. Making room. Listening. Seeing. Welcoming. Loving.
As you read and reflect this week, remember that once Jesus began his public ministry, we have no record of him staying under his own roof ever again. He and his disciples were entirely dependent upon the hospitality of others toward strangers. So, with that in mind, with whom would Jesus identify more readily today? Will we make room for Jesus this Advent by welcoming the stranger? May we “make room” for the Christ in the lonely, harried, and hurried spaces within us, that we may be filled with the light of Christ who brings Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love to our lives and to our world.
Sunday 11/28 Psalm 25:4-5 – Re-read these verses from worship this morning. What is the psalmist asking for? Let the psalmist’s prayer be yours during this Advent season.
Monday 11/29 Matthew 8:20 – Where do you sleep at night? Do you know where you will sleep tonight? Have you ever gone more than one or two nights anxiously wondering if you had a place to sleep?
Tuesday 11/30 Mark 12:38-40 (Luke 20:45-47) – One of the most vulnerable groups of people in Jesus’ day were widows. Jesus exposes the dark side of exploitation and neglect of these most vulnerable. Who are the vulnerable today?
Wednesday 12/1 Luke 19:1-10 - Sometimes those who most in need do not appear to be outwardly. In what ways was Zacchaeus a stranger?
Thursday 12/2 Habakkuk 1:2-4 – A dark time in Israel’s history… how will we look back on this time in our history? Where today do you see injustice? Wrongdoing? Destruction? Violence? Strife? Conflict? In what ways do you need first to make room for Christ before doing anything else?
Friday 12/3 Matthew 18:21-35 – How is forgiveness a sign of the kingdom of heaven? Which is harder, to forgive? Or to accept that you have been forgiven?
Saturday 12/4 Review the readings for the week and any notes you have taken. What have you learned, discovered? What have you done, or determined to do, as a result?
Our journey to the Nativity begins this week; and the season of Advent begins a new cycle of the Christian Year in which we retell, relive, and are called to reflect the story of God’s entry into the world as a child for whom there was no room.