Giving Scripture the Side Eye - Advent Devotional Day 1

"Whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction so that we could have hope through endurance and through the encouragement of the scriptures." - Romans 15:4

Welcome to the Advent Devotion. Whether you’re reading a devotional for the first time or fortieth, I’m glad you’re here. 

We offer up these devotions with scripture, reflection and prayer because we believe scripture, as ancient as it is, is still relevant, inspiring, and gives us both hope and encouragement. Moreover scripture instructs us how to love, live, and lead as followers of Jesus. 

In my CoreGroup we have a standing joke about how we include scripture in our conversations. You see the group is hesitant about scripture’s role. We all come from different backgrounds and have experienced good and bad uses of scripture to harm folks. Honestly, at times we give scripture the side eye. However, we always consider scripture in our conversations. When we do, our discussion is richer, deeper, more grounded, and/or challenged by it.  

Here’s what we do. After checking in, we answer the question of the day. From there we ask what scripture reflects or speaks to the common themes or collective experiences we’ve mentioned.  There is always a word from God in the scripture for us. We laugh and sometimes we sigh (in awe and wonder) about how God shows up in scripture for us. Then after CoreGroup, we send other scriptures, memes, songs, quotes that remind us of our conversation. 

At its best, we find hope, endurance, and encouragement in scripture. I pray the same for you as you start the Advent Devotion. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Decide when you’ll read the devotion (in the morning or night or lunch time). The right answer is the time you’ll actually do it. 
  2. Start a journal on your phone in a memo app or old school paper and pen to capture your thoughts, prayers and aha moments. 
  3. Consider doing this with a friend, spouse or family member. Share the link to sign up with them or to your social media as an invitation. 

God, I am not sure always what I think or believe about scripture. But I am here offering up space for you to speak to me and impress upon me what you want me to know and hear during this Advent season. In the name of the one who is to come, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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