Last week we began our journey through Advent. Our prayer centered around how in a culture and season cluttered with distractions and busyness, we are desperately in need of something more sacred than all of our hurrying. Today, as we begin Week 2 we focus on Mary’s embrace and even delight in God’s, often disruptive, will and His ways. Her example invites us to do the same.
Mary hears an incredible story about what is about to unfold in her life. Like Mary we have dreams and plans for our lives treasured deep in our hearts. Yet, the sudden arrival of the Holy Spirit in our lives often does not look as we had imagined.
As leaders, we are used to being the ones being in charge and we like it that way. But, Jesus, there is something in us that wants to respond without hesitation the same faith-filled proclamation, “May it be to me as you have said.” Help us, Lord, to release control of what we think life and ministry should look like and respond with a passionate, “YES!” to your initiative and interruptions.
Give us confidence you are rich in creativity and exceedingly good.
When we are afraid help us to understand that you are orchestrating our lives in ways we have yet to imagine. In spite of the fear that grips our hearts, give us the confidence that you are rich with creativity and exceedingly good. May we somehow, like Mary, throw open our lives to your infinitely creative, sometimes maddening, work and allow you to define our lives. In doing so, may we surprisingly find delight in what you are doing.
I pray for those of us who fee like life is falling apart. May we take hold of the same promise Mary received: “Don’t be afraid. God is with you. You are not alone. He walks with you through every difficult place; His strength can be your strength; He knows your name; He can bring beauty and order to that which is chaotic and fearful.” Even when all is not well, Jesus, help us let go of our white-knuckled grip and abandon our lives to whirlwind of your redemptive activity in the world.
He can bring beauty and order to that which is chaotic and fearful.
In our journey through Advent, Jesus, I pray you will fill our lives with awe and wonder. Lord, birth in us something new in us that ends up being for the sake of others and furthers your kingdom purposes. Enlarge our imaginations and make us grateful and joyful participants in those purposes.
Like Mary, may ecstatic joy pour from our hearts: “My soul glorifies the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of her servant” (Luke 1:46-47).
If you haven’t already found an Advent devotional, my ebook Advent Reflections: May the Weary World Rejoice is just a click away. Just $2.99 on Amazon. For more information, check out: Advent Reflections.
The featured picture is of the cross at our church, Faith Tri-cities, Pasco, WA.