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12.8 Advent Devotional

Away in the Manger

Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask thee to stay
close by me forever and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
and fit us for heaven to live with thee there.

Scripture - Psalm 25:4-7

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
    teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
    for you are the God of my salvation;
    for you I wait all day long.

Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,
    for they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
    according to your steadfast love remember me,
    for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!

Devotion - Make Me Know Your Ways, O Lord

Over the years I have read many devotionals, but my way of sharing has typically been through music. I have always thought that “music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life” and that it conveys hope in the future. This quote is taken from Red Auerbach who is remembered as a pioneer of modern basketball and vital to breaking down color barriers in the NBA in the 1950’s & ‘60’s. Both my daughter Rebecca and I have this quote hanging in our homes. Something we can share with each other even though we are living hundreds of miles apart.

During this time of Covid19 my everyday life, like yours, has been turned upside down and it is sometimes difficult to know where God is leading me, us, the world. Our current challenge is not only to keep our family, friends and neighbors safe, but to also recognize where we can improve in our behavior toward one another despite our differences; differences in race, religion, sexual orientation, culture, and, of course, politics.

During this difficult time, I have spent many hours at home reflecting on my journey through life. I continue to trust in God’s “unfailing love and compassion.” Of course, music has been a part of my journey ever since I can remember and it is part of it now. It’s difficult to think of a time when I didn’t have it as a part of me. As the Christmas season is upon us, I am drawn to the many special times as a child with my family. Christmas Eve at our Lutheran Church; Christmas morning and the excitement of Santa’s deliveries; Christmas dinner at my grandparents’ dairy farm with all my aunts, uncles & cousins; and, of course, all the wonderful music.

As I “put my hope in” God during this Advent season I continue to reflect on the text of the Hymn of Promise. “…there’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me. From the past will come the future; what it holds, a mystery, unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.”

Wishing you a joyous Christmas season with hope for the future.

Nancy Appleby Brenner

Be Born in Me, performed by PJ Conger, composed by Nichole Nordeman

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Many of us find that an intentional practice is important as part of our Advent reflections and you may want to consider this one. The Hunger Action Team suggests you set aside one food item or a small amount of money each day to stock the Food Pantry at North Raleigh Ministries. Click here for more information.