Saturday, December 14, 2013

Advent Devotion: December 14

The Small, Still, Quiet Whisper
Of God
Read 1 Kings 19:11-12

One of my favorite Bibles stories is when the prophet Elijah bemoans his predicament to God concerning his conflict with Jezebel.  The people do not do what they should, all places of worship have been destroyed, prophets killed and Jezebel is after his  life.  He hides in a cave afraid and waiting to hear from God. God does not come to Elijah in all the powerful means of wind, earthquake and fire; but God comes to Elijah in a “thin, quiet whisper” or as other translations state, “a sound of sheer silence.” 

Sometimes God chooses to speak to us not in the big loud sounds of our society and culture, but in the quiet sounds that come from unexpected sources. If we take the time to be attentive and listen for the voice of God, God will make God’s self known.  In the Advent story I remember God speaking to Joseph in the quietness of the night in a dream telling him to take Mary as his wife against all cultural norms. Like Elijah who wanted to do something else, Joseph wanted to dismiss Mary’s pregnancy quietly as not to disgrace her. However, God had different plans for both men. 

This Advent season as we go about listening to the loud, clanging sounds of commercials on TV, seeing all the bright colorful lights everywhere we go and trying to buy all the right gifts for all the right people, I hope we will take the time to listen for the quiet, still whisper of God trying to get through our busy lives. Listen for God as you light your Advent candles.  Listen for God as you quietly read your devotions, listen for God in the small voice of a child. Listen for God as you visit or call that lonely neighbor.  But most of all, listen for God in the voice of that child born to poor parents in an out-of-the-way place in a small village. Can you hear it?
Prayer: O God, in the glitter, gifts and business of the Advent season, help me to be still and listen for your small, still whisper.  And when you speak, help me to obey your promptings and do what you want me to do instead of what I think I should do. Amen.

-Rick Isbell

From the Church Street Advent Devotion Book, 2013

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