Welcome

2020 Advent Devotional – Day 13

Welcome

Welcome to Our World
Words by Chris Rice, 1995

Video: Welcome to Our World


Reflection

The opening lines of Chris Rice’s contemporary carol invoke the spirit of pain and longing from yesterday’s reading. This is indeed a broken world, filled with hurt and heartache. This is a world that – just as it did for the people of Israel – longs to hear from God. In our individual lives perhaps as well, far too often our days echo with the absence of God.

Do we want to admit that the so-called silence is all on our side? For how can we hear God with the cacophony of violence ricocheting around the world? When do we stop to listen amidst the clamour of competing priorities, the noise of the endless demands of ‘busy’? And how easily we are deceived by the silence created when doors are shut by resentment and understanding closed off by anger? With so many barriers in the way, is it any wonder that we cannot always hear God?

It is a bleak and conflicted world that we entreat Jesus to enter, and yet that is exactly what he does. Whenever we offer our hearts as a home for Christ, God’s love and spirit mercifully responds. Whenever we bring our hungry souls for sustenance, God’s grace nourishes and renews us. None of us is so humble, like a manger so shabby or bruised, that Jesus does not willingly abide there.

Softly and gently perhaps, Jesus accepts our invitation and enfolds us in God’s love. Healing our pain, walking by our side, this holy Son of God extends to us an ever-present invitation to blessedness; a place grounded in this world, not of divine perfection, but of divine acceptance. Our Christmas miracle is that even as we call out to Jesus to meet us here, he is already waiting to welcome us to this world transformed by God’s love and peace.


Welcoming God,
You bless me with your unending care, persisting with me even when I turn aside. Quieten the noise in my life that I might better sense your healing presence. Still the demands of my self-interest that I might know your nourishing strength. Silence the inadequacy and doubts in my mind that I can recognize your enduring acceptance. Make a home in my heart, that I might welcome your sustaining love. Amen.


Reading

The lyrics to this piece can be found online at websites such as: Michael W. Smith – Welcome To Our World Lyrics | AZLyrics.com


If you’re enjoying the carols each day, there’s now a YouTube playlist you can listen to that contains all the carols shared so far. The playlist will grow as the devotional series progresses, with each day’s carol being added. By Christmas Day, you’ll have the perfect soundtrack of worship and praise.  Click here to listen.


Thank you for joining us on this prayerful path through Advent.
Blessings and best wishes for 2021.


 

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