The 1st Sunday of Advent 2017

Posted by James Hahn on

*The 2017 Online Advent Scripture Study is hosted by Real Life Rosary.  During these days of Advent we are using the book 4 Simple Steps to Better Scripture Meditations to dive deeper into reading the daily scriptures.  Please click any of links for more information.  Join our Facebook Group to stay up to date.

Step #1 - Clear the Mind.

Not too many distractions today.  Excited to begin this study and to embrace the season of Advent.  I did have to write down some items that need attended to that threatened to derail my prayer time - work, finances, kids.

Step #2 - Read the Scriptures

Today's readings can be found here.  Even if you've read them hundreds of times before, read them again, and again. Read the readings at least twice, three times is better.  I've found it helpful to write down words or phrases that stick out to me during my time of reading.  I'll also jot down ideas that pop into my head from the readings.

Words or Phrases that Jumped Out
Isaiah - "Why do you let us wander, O Lord, from your ways and harden our hearts so we fear you not....all our good deeds are polluted rags...Would that you might meet us doing right, that we were mindful of you in our ways!"

1 Corinthians - "He will keep you firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Mark - ...each with his own

Step #3 - Join the Story

  • Why does God let us wander and allow us to harden our hearts?
  • Will the Lord meet me doing right?
  • Am I watching for the Lord?  Am I ready or am I watching the things of the world?
  • I want the Lord to keep me firm to the end!
  • Am I a gatekeeper?  At home?  Work? Community?  As such do I have more responsibility?

Step #4 - Talk/Listen to God

To be completely honest, I've been struggling a good deal with my faith lately.  I find myself struggling with nearly everything.  It's as though I'm running a race with my feet shackled and can't get ahead.  I feel as though so often I am going through the motions, that I'm asleep at the wheel, not watching.  I know all about Christ but I don't know Him!  I want a deeper, more genuine faith.

Today's readings and last night's Confession have given me tremendous hope.  These readings don't make me so much fear the return of the Lord but look forward with anxious anticipation.  The Lord allows me to wander because He loves me and has given me that freedom.  How much deeper do I love Him now that I see the error of my ways.

I found the passage "each to his own work" interesting and started asking what my work really is here in this life.  Whenever I've asked this question over the years the answer is always the same.  I know deep in my heart what that work is but I put it off, I find distractions.  I can no longer do that.  I recently read a quote from Michelangelo that supposedly came from his lips on his death bed, "have offended God and Mankind, by not having worked at my Art as I should have."  I feel the same way when I look at my "own work".  I pray I will no longer offend either from this moment forward!

Step #5 - Bonus Step - Thanksgiving

Dear Lord, thank you for this time of prayer and meditation.  Thank you for another day to know you, to love you, and to serve you.  Thank you for all of the people joining us during this Advent study.  Thank you for coming to save us.  Thank you for your promised return.  Thank you for these perfect readings at this time.

* Contains affiliate links.  No, that doesn't mean that the kids should leave the room.  Rather, it means that if you click on a link, and if you purchase something, I may get some financial remuneration for that click and buy.  All that means is that my kids will finally get to eat, just kidding but I may get something, just so you know...

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