Advent Devotional - December 10
The angel replied, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.
It is not coincidental that the same six letters form these two words. We have to be silent to listen. We have to silence our voices, our inner monologues, our nervously bouncing knees and our over-caffeinated minds. We have to be silent to listen.
It sounds obvious, but how often do we speak while claiming to be listening? How often do we envision our rebuttal, waiting for the right time to interrupt while claiming to be listening? How often do we scroll through the news at the dinner table while claiming to be listening?
It’s in the silence of the sanctuary that Gabriel, an angel of the Lord, appears to Zechariah in this first chapter of Luke. Zechariah is burning incense when Gabriel startles him with the news that his wife Elizabeth will bear a child- a son who will be filled with the Holy Spirit.
It’s in the silence that God completely defies Zechariah’s expectations. And Zechariah is silenced by God so that he might begin to process the news, to prepare for what will come, to listen deeply.
This is the very first story in the Gospel of Luke. Perhaps God is trying to silence us, too, so that we might process, prepare, and listen deeply, so that we might be able to hear God’s word.
We have to be silent to listen. Live into the gift of silence by going an hour without speaking today. What do you notice? What do you hear? How will God surprise you?
God, help me seek silence today. Help me seek stillness today. Help me to listen deeply today. And in the silence, startle me with your presence. Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jessie Light is the Monie Pastoral Resident at PHPC. She is a recent graduate of Austin Theological Seminary.
today's act of kindness
Light two candles and pray: God, pour out your peace so that the wolf may lie down with the lamb, and no one will hurt or destroy on your holy mountain ever again.