Third Advent Devotion
3rd Advent Devotion
Methodist Liaison Office in Jerusalem
17 December 2017
Song: “Light a Candle in a Darkened Place” verses 1, 4 by Clare Stainsby
Light a candle in a darkened place,
In its flame see hope on every face, Christ our Savior will be born, Heralding a brand new dawn,
So let it burn.
In the desert hear the voice of one,
Make things ready for your King, says John,
See his glory is revealed,
And hope for all is sealed,
So let it burn.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-22
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.
Breathe and pray without ceasing…
As we continue the journey of Advent towards Christmas it is good to be reminded to rejoice always and to pray without ceasing. In the hustle and bustle of the time during holidays it becomes a challenge to remain focused and centered. Life in Bethlehem under occupation (access to sufficient clean water, to reliable electricity, and freedom of movement, etc.), life in our own contexts, may be overlooked as we go over check lists, purchase presents, bake and cook for family, and try our best to make sure we have done all that needs to be done.
Did we include time to rejoice, time to pray, time to work for justice in our lists?
Life under occupation, life in our own contexts, do we realize how people are living in other places around the world? Do we realize how people are living today in the place where Jesus was born? Jesus was born in a place which was occupied by the Roman empire… the people were praying for a savior; the people were praying for things to change. Today we continue to pray for salvation and for life circumstances to change for the better, for justice and peace to prevail in all the world.
People I have met in Bethlehem and the area, even though their life by many standards is extremely challenging, (limited access to sufficient supply of clean water, to reliable electricity, and to freedom of movement) express and live their life with real joy, faith, hope and love. People pray. May we all seek to live each day with joy and prayer!
As we journey through Advent, Bethlehem, and places around the world, people seek moments to shine, to share joy and life. The challenges of barriers, walls, check points, lack of clean water, etc. may for a moment be on hold, as the joy of anticipation in welcoming the Christ Child fills the hearts of people here and around the world. We pray. We pray for God’s transformation and justice. We pray for a world in need. We pray, we rejoice always!
Light the third candle
Let us pray, Amazing and gracious God, help us to seek joy in the midst of life’s challenges. Help us find real time to pray, in order that we may listen to your call on our lives and be transformed by your love and grace. Amen.
Written by Rev. Kristen L. Brown, Methodist Liaison in Palestine and Israel, serving through the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church
Picture credit: “Breathe, pray” in the Judean Wilderness by Mar Saba Monastery taken by Rev. Kristen L. Brown.
Song: “Light a Candle in a Darkened Place” words and music by Clare Stainsby, used with permission.
Advent Devotions provided by the Methodist Liaison office in Jerusalem, through the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church, The Methodist Church of Great Britain, and the World Methodist Council of Churches.