Advent Devotional - December 8
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.
Patience? What comes to mind? One of my first thoughts takes me back to the Holy Land and my two visits traveling through Palestine. My trips have been with Friends United Meeting (Quakers), and were work study trips that allowed opportunity to work on two separate Quaker schools in Ramallah as well as to meeting with various groups that are attempting to understand the current problem of Israeli occupation of Palestine.
The Palestinians are some of the most patient people on the planet. They have lived under occupation for millennia and continue to live that way today. They show a patience that is unmatched by many others, a patience that we should study and attempt to emulate.
I look at Advent as an annual event that calls us to grow our ability to demonstrate patience. This effort should be done on many levels: First, patience to wait on our God, to look to God to provide direction and guidance in our respective lives; Second, patience to interact with the secular world around us and to witness to others about our faith and the grace that is provided to us all through the Cross; Third, patience to channel God’s will into our individual lives and to fight the desire to follow our own will.
As we enter this time of Advent, let us focus on growing patience in each of our respective lives. Patience doesn’t mean lack of activity, by means focused, meaningful premediated action.
Dear Jesus, strengthen us for the race set before us. Guide us to study your word through the Bible and rely on fellow Christians who you have put in our lives to help share the light of Christ. In all ways let us show the love of Christ daily. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
About the Author
Bill Deichler joined PHPC in 1983 and is active in Men's Breakfast, Habitat for Humanity and is an Ambassador for Presbyterian Children's Homes and Services.
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