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Sunday Devotion: 29 November 2020, First Sunday of Advent

Sunday Devotions

Jesus challenges us to keep watch

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Written by clergy and lay people across our Diocesan community, ‘Sunday Devotions’ is a column of short reflections based on a Lectionary reading of the day, suitable for small group discussion or personal use.

Main ReadingsIsaiah 64.1-9; Psalm 80.1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1.1-9; Mark 13.24-37

Supplementary Readings: Psalm 11; 1 Corinthians 3.10-15; Isaiah 1.1-9Psalm 12Luke 12.35-48

“Jesus said, ‘and what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.” (Mark 13.37)

I was the Priest-in-Charge of a small country town in the mid-90s. One day as I was driving past the doctor’s surgery, I observed a car coming to a sudden halt outside. I thought to myself, “That’s strange, I should stop and check,” but something said to me “go straight to the hospital.” I did this and a few minutes after I arrived, a woman came in carrying a toddler. She was very distressed because while she and her husband were having an afternoon nap the toddler got out of the house and locked himself in the car and suffocated from the heat. I knew then that God had called me to this family.

It is really hard to always be awake – to be alert and attentive. Being awake is essential to hearing God’s call which can pass by subtly and fleetingly, with the possibility of us missing it altogether. There is also a danger that we can shut God out because we may be afraid that He will ask us to do something that is very difficult. Do not be afraid of this because God will never ask you to do something that, with His help, you are not capable of doing (1 Corinthians 10.13).

When children die it is a terrible tragedy and we find ourselves trying to help, but often unable to see the way to proceed or find the words to speak. My experience has taught me that by just being there, you will find that God is there with you. You may be surprised at how He directs and guides you when you need that help.

A faithful prayer life is essential to being alert and open. There are many callings that may frighten us, but with God we can achieve all that He is asking us to do.

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