There’s a New World Coming: An Advent Journey
Daily Devotional Guides
By: John van de Laar / Sacredise Publishing/2011/Cape Town, 8050, South Africa.
This devotional guide is designed in such a way that each devotional can be completed in about five to ten minutes. The readings are based on the daily readings as supplied by the Revised Common Lectionary for Advent (Year B) and the reflections are intended to bring together each day’s reading with the Sunday themes. The devotions for Monday to Wednesday each week flow out of the theme of the Sunday past, while the devotions for Thursday to Sunday prepare for the Sunday coming.
First Advent Sunday
Reading: Mark 13:24-37
Reflection: It’s tempting to read passages like this as a prediction of God returning to earth as a military conqueror to destroy the people we consider to be evil and to establish a God-controlled empire on earth. But, to read Mark that way is to misunderstand both the Gospel writer and Jesus. Mark wrote at a time of war, when Israel was being conquered by the Roman Army, and he is reminding his readers that Jesus had spoken about this very thing happening. The language Jesus uses is the same as that of the Old Testament prophets – full of strong visual imagery, metaphors and symbols. It is not to be taken literally.
For us the key here is to grasp the heart of Jesus’ message – no matter what you may see going on in the world, God is not surprised, God is always coming to us and calling us to participate in God’s reign in our world, and, to do this, we need to be alert and mindful, always aware of the signs of God’s activity even in the midst of the world’s turmoil.
Where do you see signs of God’s coming in your life? In what ways can you co-operate with God’s activity? What can you do to be even more mindful and aware of God’s presence and purpose in your life?
Prayer: O God who is always present and always seeking entrance into my life, please give me the eyes, the ears, the heart and the faith, to see and embrace the signs of your coming, and to help others to see them & receive them too. Amen.