Expect Christ: Day 16

Today is Monday, Dec. 12, the sixteenth day in the Advent season. The sense that Christmas is almost upon us really begins to build now. If you have one of those “Days Until” countdown calendars, you may have flinched or gasped this morning, thinking of things undone. Breathe, and remember why we pause: to abide for a while with the one who saves us.

Morning

Praise and Thanksgiving.

Our prayerful reading to the glory of God is Psalm 45. What is the source of beauty? And when Christ draws his sword or fires his arrows at his enemies, what is our savior really doing, once we strip away all poetry and metaphor? What does that tell us about how we should fight alongside our king?

Let’s also pray these words:

“Dear Lord, like so many people around us, your beauty was not immediately evident to worldly thinkers. Only those seeking truth could find beauty in a message expressing divine humility and love for the undeserving. Now that we see the gift of salvation, may we exalt you and worship you as we should, declaring to the world what you have done. Lord, you are beauty and truth! Amen.”

Confession. Let’s search our hearts, recognize our sins, confess them to the Lord, and accept forgiveness.

Petitions. Let’s return to our “outside in” pattern, asking God to intervene in global matters, in national needs, in our communities, schools and workplaces, in our churches and homes, and in our personal lives. Who are the specific people needing prayer?

Scripture: Isaiah 29:17-24. Justice, particularly justice for the poor and powerless, has long been a part of God’s plan.

Silence.

Noon

Let’s continue to pray this prayer together daily:

“Lord, we have entered a season of expectation. We remember the Israelites’ past desire for a savior to arrive, and we mirror what they felt as we long now for the return of Jesus Christ. Come Lord Jesus, come! We pray this with some trepidation, knowing we never feel completely ready for such a day, and that loved ones around us may not be ready. And yet we continue to pray, Come Lord Jesus, come! We trust that your grace at your return will so overwhelm sin and death that all will be set right. As we pray for your full arrival, teach us how to make ourselves ready, living as watchful people. Amen.”

Night

At a minimum, let’s spend some significant time in a quiet, reflective state before retiring for the night. Embrace the day’s spiritual victories and release the failures.

If you want to start a conversation about Christian meditation techniques, use the Comments section.

Sleep well. May visions of divine beauty fill your dreams.

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