Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today
NL Daily Devotion for Friday, November 30, 2018
by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff
This is it. The holiday is officially upon us. Thanksgiving leftovers are long gone. Black Friday deals are over (mostly), but there are plenty of sales to be found. Scout Elves are up to their mischief. And the Advent calendar is on the wall. (Wait… you don’t have your Advent calendar up? What are you waiting for? Get ‘er done!)
Do people even celebrate Advent anymore? It’s been Christmas since before Halloween. You’re singing Christmas carols already in church. (If you’re a die-hard, Advent-carols-only til the 24th worshiper, get over it — Christmas is the new Advent.)
It seems the only person still concerned with Advent anymore is your worship planner. And they wish they weren’t. Advent is filled with prophets proclaiming the exile of Israel and the destruction of all good things.
And there it is. Even though our culture (and personal preference, let’s be honest) has thrust us into Christmas, our world still primarily lives in the Advent-like state of exile and destruction. We know the fear and isolation of a broken world. Even though we’re hungry to hurry Christmas toward us, we come by it honestly — the Advent is always upon us.
This Advent, go ahead and host your Christmas parties, cook your holiday feasts, and sing your heart out at Christmas Eve worship. Let the joy of baby Jesus flood your heart every day.
(Oh, and tell your kids the scout elf does its mischief because it wants to remind the world that baby Jesus brings joy and laughter.)
Narrative Lectionary Daily Reading:
Gather up your bundle from the ground, O you who live under siege! For thus says the Lord: I am going to sling out the inhabitants of the land at this time, and I will bring distress on them, so that they shall feel it. Woe is me because of my hurt! My wound is severe. But I said, “Truly this is my punishment, and I must bear it.” My tent is destroyed, and all my cords are broken; my children have gone from me, and they are no more; there is no one to spread my tent again, and to set up my curtains. For the shepherds are stupid, and do not inquire of the Lord; therefore they have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered. Hear, a noise! Listen, it is coming— a great commotion from the land of the north to make the cities of Judah a desolation, a lair of jackals. I know, O Lord, that the way of human beings is not in their control, that mortals as they walk cannot direct their steps. Correct me, O Lord, but in just measure; not in your anger, or you will bring me to nothing. Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not know you, and on the peoples that do not call on your name; for they have devoured Jacob; they have devoured him and consumed him, and have laid waste his habitation.