Advent Devotional December 8, 2017

Scripture

Psalm 16

1   Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2   I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
          I have no good apart from you.”

3   As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble,
          in whom is all my delight.

4   Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;
          their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
          or take their names upon my lips.

5   The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
          you hold my lot.
6   The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
          I have a goodly heritage.

7   I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
          in the night also my heart instructs me.
8   I keep the LORD always before me;
          because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

9   Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
          my body also rests secure.
10  For you do not give me up to Sheol,
          or let your faithful one see the Pit.

11  You show me the path of life.
          In your presence there is fullness of joy;
          in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Devotional

The Rev. Rebecca Kahnt, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Youngstown / Youngstown, Ohio / Reformed Christian Spirituality Focus

I think I underestimated the importance of presence in life until I became a mom. When I became a mom, I quickly learned that every activity I did in the house became a “team sport.” And if I would dare to go into another room by myself and have enough nerve to close the door behind me, it would mean the end of the world had arrived, with screams and gnashing of teeth coming from the other side of the door until I would open it again and I would be reunited with my family.

In many ways, I treasure that my children find my mere presence a place of rest and security. I also hope and pray it can point the way to the One who is the place in this crazy world where “my heart is glad, my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure” (Psalm 16:9).

In this season of Advent, as we remember the birth of Jesus to bring hope and light to a world filled with hopelessness and darkness, and in this season of Advent as we look forward to the day when we are all brought together in the heavenly kingdom when death is gone and pain has ceased, may we heed these words from Psalm 16 as we “keep the Lord always before (us).” May the awareness of the presence of the Lord with us through this Advent season bring us a daily source of abiding hope, joy, peace, and love.

Prayer

Gracious God whose presence shows us the path to life, fill us with your Spirit so we may feel your real presence with us always as you love us into being this Advent Season. In your holy, precious and powerful name we pray. Amen.