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Advent Devotional – December 17, 2019

By: Sarah Johnson 

Readings: Ezekiel 47:1-12, Jude 1:7-25, Psalm 42 

I love the imagery of the passage from Ezekiel 47- the trickling water from the temple that collects and builds into a river. It reminds me of the patience required in slow, trickling starts that can build and lead to great, rushing results. Where is the water running from you? From Luther Place? What is it carrying? 

While we long to see the results of our individual and collective efforts, we know that we don’t always get to see the work through to the end. This can leave us longing for something we will never see, but I think it can also free us to approach the work with care and intention. When we aren’t racing to the end, we can slow down and make sure the work is done well. The connection to Moses, who didn’t get to see the promise land, and the permission to slow down and bring intention and care to our efforts, reminds me of this poem from Rob Bell that I shared as a devotion in recent meetings. 

Walk, don’t run. That’s it. Walk, don’t run. 

Slow down, breathe deeply, and open your eyes because there’s a whole world right here within this one. The bush doesn’t suddenly catch on fire, it’s been burning the whole time. 

Moses is simply moving slowly enough to see it. And when he does, he takes off his sandals. 

Not because the ground has suddenly become holy, but because he’s just now becoming aware that the ground has been holy the whole time. 

Efficiency is not God’s highest goal for your life, neither is busyness, or how many things you can get done in one day, or speed, or even success. 

But walking, which leads to seeing, now that’s something. That’s the invitation for every one of us today, and every day, in every conversation, interaction, event, and moment: to walk, not run. And in doing so, to see a whole world right here within this one. 

Dear Lord, we are grateful for the reminder to stop and slow down. This season of longing can also be one of rushing, busyness, and overwhelm. Let us be present and intentional as we show up for ourselves and this congregation. We pray that water that is trickling from this place brings hospitality, equity, justice, and love as it collects and moves throughout our community. Be with us in our longing and discernment as we prepare for the year to come. In your name we pray. Amen.

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